rating: +189+x
Item#: SCP-3440
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


Entrance to SCP-3440, photographed through a pretermemetic filter

Special Containment Procedures: All knowledge of SCP-3440 and its point of access must be restricted to personnel with 3440/2 clearance or higher. Any non-Foundation individuals capable of perceiving and accessing SCP-3440's entry point are to be detained, debriefed and amnesticized. Foundation agents embedded in the Civic Opera Building's security staff are to prevent unauthorized access to SCP-3440.

By order of the Ethics Committee, instances of SCP-3440-A are exempt from experimentation. SCP-3440-A1 is the exception to this ruling, and no further attempts to disconnect SCP-3440-A1 from SCP-3440-B are to be made.

As of incident 3440-01, SCP-3440-A1 is to be monitored continuously for the development of new properties, with any changes being reported immediately to the Site Director.

Description: SCP-3440 is a dual-purpose entertainment and embalming facility of anomalous construction and operation located approximately ██ meters beneath the ground floor of the Civic Opera Building in Chicago, Illinois. It appears to have been constructed shortly after the Civic Opera Building itself opened on November 4th, 1929.

SCP-3440 is accessed via an elevator in the basement of the Civic Opera Building. The elevator is protected by a perceptual anomaly that renders it undetectable to human subjects who do not have prior knowledge of SCP-3440's existence. This defence mechanism, combined with additional pretermemetic1 interference, prevented the Foundation from discovering SCP-3440 until being informed of its existence via an untraced phone call in 20██. The informant did not reveal their identity, but it is considered highly probable that they had some association with GoI-233.

The main room of SCP-3440 is a three-story theatre built for an audience capacity of 1,044, with a makeshift mortuary found beneath the stage. Upon recovery, the theatre had suffered extensive damage, both from fire and brute force, with the forensic team believing that a riot or some similar violent altercation having occurred between 12-24 hours prior to their initial arrival.


SCP-3440-A27, found with a name tag reading 'Old Gourdi'

At the time of recovery, ███ embalmed corpses had been placed in the front rows of SCP-3440. These bodies have been designated SCP-3440-A. Many of these bodies have been identified as missing individuals from the Chicago area over the past 20 years (see Forensic Report 3440 for more information).

Each body has had ten metallic filaments integrated into its nervous system via an unknown form of reinnervation. These filaments connect at the middle fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and temples. Though the alloy the filaments are composed of remains unidentified, metallurgical analysis has shown it to possess anomalous electro-thaumic properties. These filaments appear to serve the purpose of conducting electro-thaumic signals from SCP-3440-B (see below) into the nervous systems of SCP-3440-A, allowing them to be controlled in a manner superficially similar to marionettes.

Although biologically dead, aetheric resonance imaging has shown that [DATA EXPUNGED], speculated to be a form of Sheldon Class soul-trap. If this is the case, instances of SCP-3440-A would remain conscious and aware of bodily sensations.

With a singular exception, the entirety of SCP-3440-A has had their filaments severed at random lengths. Most suffer from posthumous injuries. It has been speculated that when still connected to SCP-3440-B, SCP-3440-A were used in the conflict believed to have occurred shortly before discovery.

Most of the cadavers were found dressed in circus attire, with two individuals in the front row being of particular interest. The first, SCP-3440-A2, is a male whose face has been surgically removed and reattached upside-down. The second, SCP-3440-A3, is a female who had been squeezed into a tight corset with her face covered in white greasepaint and crudely applied violet eye-shadow and lipstick. It is believed that these two individuals were intended to be effigies of PoIs 233-022 and -033, respectively. Both are believed to be prominent members of GoI-233. Investigation into whether any of the other cadavers were made into effigies of specific individuals associated with GoI-233 is ongoing.


Cadaver found in the mortuary of SCP-3440, believed to be a botched or incomplete instance of SCP-3440-A

To the left-hand side of the stage is a large metal cabinet, designated SCP-3440-B. This cabinet is covered in a copper patina that is anomalously resistant to removal and renders the cabinet impervious to all attempts at internal imaging. All attempts to open it by force have also failed. Despite being opaque to sonar, SCP-3440-B produces continuous ticking, whirring, and clanking noises while active.

One thousand metallic filaments emerge from the top of SCP-3440-B and feed into an elaborate track system built over the stage. The track system contains 100 control bars where instances of SCP-3440-A can be connected via their filaments, allowing them to be moved about the stage.

Attempts to integrate live humans, non-anomalous cadavers or other human analogues into SCP-3440-B have been unsuccessful.

On the front facing side of SCP-3440-B is a control booth, containing ███ black wax cylinders engraved with electro-thaumic waves, designated SCP-3440-C. Placing an instance of SCP-3440-C into a receptacle labeled a 'thaumaphone' will transmit the signals along the filaments and into the bodies of any connected SCP-3440-A instances, causing them to act out a predetermined set of actions, typically some form of vaudeville performance (see Document-3440-01 for a complete list of SCP-3440-C instances and their effects).

SCP-3440-B also contains a stage-facing device labelled an 'aetherscope', capable of recording the electro-thaumic waves of live actions onto a new instance of SCP-3440-C. If a cylinder of SCP-3440-C contains waveforms from multiple individuals, an analogue control panel can be used to determine which set of electro-thaumic waves goes to which instances of SCP-3440-A. This control panel also allows for a large degree of manual control over instances of SCP-3440-A.

Upon initial recovery, there was a single instance of SCP-3440-A connected to SCP-3440-B, and has since been designated SCP-3440-A1. All attempts to disconnect SCP-3440-A1 have resulted in dangerous electro-thaumic discharges by its filaments. Similar discharges occur when researchers attempt to connect other instances of SCP-3440-A.

SCP-3440-A1 is a Caucasian male, estimated to be approximately 40 years of age at the time of death. Subject is 165 cm in height and 45 kg in weight. Subject has dark brown eyes and hair, which at the time of death appeared to have been recently cut into a short finger wave style with a long handlebar moustache. The subject had also been dressed in an elaborate ringmaster's costume.

At the time of recovery there was an instance of SCP-3440-C (designated SCP-3440-C1) loaded into the thaumaphone. Stuck to it was a note which read "To Essie. Enjoy the Show. ~ Icky and Manny."

Activating SCP-3440-B with SCP-3440-C1 placed within the thaumaphone caused SCP-3440-A1 to enact the following performance:

Humdee dum dum dum dum dum…huh? Audible gasp!

(SCP-3440-A1 looks at audience in feigned horror, clasping its hands to its cheeks)

The Essie P! You'll never take me alive!

(pauses and checks its pulse)

Well, I guess that's actually a foregone conclusion at this point, considering, but you'll still never take me! Ah ha ha ha ha!

(while continuously cackling, SCP-3440-A1 runs off and completes a full circuit of the track system before returning to its starting position)

Ah ha ha ha ha ha…huh? Curses and drat! Trapped by my own marvellous machine! How ironic. All right Essie, go on and do your worst! I'll never talk! No sir, not me! My secrets I'll take to the gra…oh, right.

(SCP-3440-A1 twirls its moustache and taps its foot for approximately 5 seconds)

Okay, you know what? I'll talk. But only on the condition that you promise to conduct all your experiments with this contraption on me alone, and leave all those poor souls out there in the audience to rest in peace. None of them could ever hope to match my natural showmanship anyway! We got a deal? Excellent!

(SCP-3440-A1 tilts its head and wags a finger at the audience)

Just remember Essie: if you break your word, Manny will know.

Your first question is probably the most obvious: who am I. Why, I am none other than the infamous Herman P. Fuller, of Herman Fuller's Circus of the Disquieting. The story of my life is a long and nefarious one, so make yourselves comfortable. Sit back, relax, and treat yourselves to some of the blackest cotton candy this side of the River Styx!

(SCP-3440-A1 produces a prop version of SCP-1921-A2 from its coat)

No takers, eh? Ah well, you can't blame a stiff for trying.

(SCP-3440-A1 places the prop back inside its coat while clutching its lapels and rocking on the balls of its feet)

Born to wealth and privilege, as a young man I was inducted into a now defunct secret society (defunct because in an outing gone awry I tossed them to the wolves, literally) and I learned of the Ways between Worlds. I wandered them for many years, accumulated vast amounts of arcane knowledge, and acquired talents few mortal men would dare dream of. But then I committed my first horrendous, unforgivable crime! (whispering) I stole library books.

Not just from any library of course, but The Wanderer's Library. And you know what cruel and unusual punishments the Library imposes on those who break its draconian rules, yes? They make them do an honest day's work! Filing, shelving…customer service! (shudders) Fortunately my various magical endowments make me less transmutable than most, so they had to settle for banning me. I haven't set foot in that or any other library since. They're too socialistic for my bourgeois sensibilities anyway.

But of course, the centrepiece of my life has been the Circus.

(The track system pulls SCP-3440-A1 around the stage in a circle, bobbing up and down in a manner similar to a carousel)

Why a circus? Why not a militia of monsters, or a museum of mutations, or a milieu of mystics? Out of everything I could have done with my considerable resources and abilities, why start a travelling circus? To be perfectly frank, even back then I had no shortage of enemies, and keeping on the move was a matter of some necessity. But I would be lying if I said I didn't love the spotlight.

It started with only a single genuine anomaly, believe it or not. I stole the Fiji Mermaid, and I did what that coward Barnum never had the balls to let me do; I brought it to life! It was an abomination, an insult to God Almighty, but by golly it brought in the crowds! Once I realized what a goldmine the Circus was, I started snatching up as many freaks as I could get my hands on. And what marvels I found; a street urchin with an upside-down face that hid his true talents, a singing sheet of music I gifted with human form, a race of eldritch horrors that just wanted to make people laugh!

(SCP-3440-A1 is set back on the floor and takes off its hat and clutches it to its chest in an exaggerated display of sorrow)

Those were the good old days, I tell you, when the world was still black and white (don't think I don't remember Essie). Freaks, dames, lesser men, they knew their place; or could be reminded of it easily enough. But of course, the world started changing. I did my best to keep the Circus from changing with it, but ever so gradually my beloved family started to squirm more and more under the heel of my boot. I had to start making examples of them, and I made this place so that I could still get some use out of their battered corpses - I mean, so that we could always be together.

But no matter how hard you try to stop it things still change, and boy did I try. I made the Freewheelers, the Pennyfarthings, I even had Prometheus Labs whip me up a couple of goons I could use as 'Slave Catchers' and 'Union Breakers', but it didn't matter. Manny finally crossed a line I couldn't forgive and I was going to kill him, believe me I would have killed him…

(SCP-3440-A1 punches at the air, causing it to spin around several times and twist the filaments. SCP-3440-A1 lifts its feet in the air and begins to spin in the opposite direction as the filaments untwist themselves)

Oh god. Oh Jesus. This is making me dizzy. I would be sick if I wasn't already dead. Where was I? Oh yes, Icky.

Icky, Icky, Icky, Icky, Icky. I took her in when she was nothing, saved her from a family that likely would've subjected her to electroshock treatments and an ice-pick lobotomy to suppress her deviant desires, and how did she repay me? She led an uprising to save the oaf, and stole my top hat while she was at it! Figuratively and literally! Seriously, who steals a top hat? The two of them hucked me into The Darkness Between Dimensions and took my Circus for themselves!

(SCP-3440-A1 tosses its top hat up in the air, and a cane falls out of it. SCP-3440-A1 catches the cane and the hat lands back upon its head)

But I escaped, and have been plotting my revenge for all these years! It didn't quite work out, as you can see. Now I'm strung up for all eternity as the star of my own show; Herman Fuller's Marvellously Macabre Mechanical Marionette Matinee! Poetic justice, or so they tell me, but I can still knock 'em dead!

Hit it boys!

(SCP-3440-A1 stands expectantly with its arms raised for several seconds before dropping them and looking around in apparent agitation)

I said…oh goddamn it, those goody-two-shoes actually unhooked the band too? Okay, no big deal, I can do this A cappella (clears throat).

(during this performance, the track system jerks SCP-3440-A1 around in time with the melody, with SCP-3440-A1 always attempting to move in the opposite direction and often pantomiming to the lyrics)

Welcome, Welcome, Ladies and Gents.
To a show I hope you'll never forget
Watch as I dance this avant-garde minuet
As a merry, merry marionette
Oh a merry, merry, marionette

To be held by strings is a very fine thing
In fact, I could dream of nothing finer
Strung from this grand machine of my very own dreams
Truly, I'm an ingenious designer
Though it's quite the feat standing on these feet
But I'd hate for you to think I'm a whiner
I'll stand proud and tall and dance for you all
But golly, what I'd give for a recliner

It ain't easy being a one-man string quartet
My clothes are soaked in a very cold sweat
I'd sell my own mother for one cigarette
That's life as a merry, merry, marionette
Oh, a merry, merry, marionette

My body's stone cold, but I'll never grow old
And I'm spared from the eternal hellfire
I'm safe and sound, though forever earthbound
And displayed for all to admire
My soul I sold, my corpse does what it's told
Controlled by these foul wires
I feel every tug, but my brain's unplugged
My situation is certainly dire

Of my old self, I'm a mere silhouette
They took every penny of my old assets
To be perfectly frank, I'm very upset
To be a merry, merry marionette
Oh, a merry, merry, marionette

Can't you see, this wasn't supposed to be me!
These strings were meant for my underlings!
They would live in fear of their puppeteer!
A living death, unable to draw breath, enslaved to the whim of their King!
But alas, I was foiled, I wasted my toil
I should've got the hell out of town
Instead here I've been hung, mummified and strung
All 'cuz of Icky, the Magic Clown, and the Man Whose Face is Upside-Down.

I've lost a rigged game of Russian Roulette
Forced to perform forever to pay off my debts
If I ever get free, I'll be hellbent
On making them my merry merry marionettes4
Oh, merry merry marionettes

Well Essie, I'm afraid that's the end of your personalized show, but don't worry; there's plenty more acts on those cylinders. Feel free to play them all as many times as you want. Repeatability is crucial for science, I've heard, and I deserve nothing less.

Au Revoir, mon cher Essie.

(SCP-3440-A1 blows the audience a kiss, takes a bow, and then falls limp and is supported only by its metallic filaments)

Testing has shown that when SCP-3440-B is active without an instance of SCP-3440-C loaded into the thaumaphone, SCP-3440-A1 will produce a series of inarticulate screams. These screams vary each time and are not believed to be pre-recorded. This could indicate that SCP-3440-A1 retains some degree of control over its body, though if it is a Sheldon Class soul-trap that should be impossible. During these episodes, there is a noticeable increase in aspect radiation from SCP-3440-A1, as well as an average Hume rating of ██. Research into this phenomenon is ongoing.

Incident 3440-01: On 10/31/20██. At ██:██ PM, when SCP-3440-B was both unpowered and inactive, SCP-3440-A1 was observed to laugh of its own accord for approximately thirty seconds, and then sing "I've Got No Strings" from Disney's Pinocchio. After this event SCP-3440-A1 was unresponsive to questions or stimuli, but it has since often been observed tracking researchers with its eyes while smiling.

As a result of this development, SCP-3440 has had its Object Class upgraded to Euclid.

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