Item#: 4999
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


SCP-4999, circa 1973. Photo taken by professional photographer Gustav Bürger, three minutes before his death.

Special Containment Procedures: Due to SCP-4999's unwillingness or inability to appear before more than one person at a time, in addition to the subsequent and immediate death of any who witness it firsthand, SCP-4999 is effectively self-containing. Any reports of SCP-4999 manifestations captured by security camera feeds, photographs, or similar are to be investigated, and the media confiscated for analysis. All secondhand witnesses among the civilian populace are to be amnesticized.

Description: SCP-4999 is a humanoid entity of unknown origins and composition. Its physical appearance varies, with dark formalwear being the only constant between manifestations. Due to the rarity of recorded SCP-4999 manifestation events and the highly specific circumstances in which they occur, little data concerning its nature or intent is available; however, its behavior is consistent across all recorded sightings.

SCP-4999 will manifest only in the presence of one solitary human person at a time. All subjects recorded to date have been in terminally poor health, critically injured, or on their deathbeds, with SCP-4999 appearing nearby and within sight of the individual not more than 20 minutes before their expiration. SCP-4999 will only appear if the subject is conscious and alone. It will not appear if the subject is comatose, asleep, or unconscious; nor will it appear if they are being cared for by, in the company of, or otherwise being directly observed by another person.

Upon manifestation, the entity will seat itself directly adjacent to the subject's bed, if such furniture is available. If not, it will remain standing or sit on the floor/ground in whatever configuration will allow it direct physical access to the subject without causing disturbance. Once situated, it will remove a pack of cigarettes from its left inside jacket pocket and offer one to the subject. If the subject accepts, SCP-4999 will place it between their lips, remove one for itself, and light both. If the subject declines, SCP-4999 will light and smoke the cigarette instead. The entity will make physical contact with the subject, typically via holding their hand, placing its hand atop theirs, or resting its hand on their shoulder.

SCP-4999 will then remain with the subject, silent and unmoving, until they have passed away.

SCP-4999 has not been seen to engage in any other activity or behavior, and demanifests immediately upon the subject's death. The subject's cigarette, however, will remain, providing the only physical evidence of SCP-4999's presence.

No subject thus far has been seen to recoil from or otherwise resist the entity, nor have any attempted to engage it in conversation, despite multiple instances of subjects acknowledging the entity's presence via eye contact, adjusting posture to reciprocate or facilitate the entity's touch, breaking into tears when noticing its presence, or verbally thanking the entity when offered a cigarette.

Individuals affected by SCP-4999 share a number of common attributes. Research into identified subjects has indicated that SCP-4999 is more likely to appear if an individual:

  • lives alone
  • is nonreligious
  • is impoverished or homeless
  • displays a history of mental illness
  • is a military veteran
  • has no criminal record, or has never been convicted of a violent crime
  • has no currently surviving family
  • is unmarried or otherwise lacks a significant other
  • has little to no social standing in their community
  • does not exhibit any record of significant professional or personal accomplishments
  • has few to no mutually beneficial interpersonal relationships,

or exhibits qualities and life history that have rendered the individual nondescript, anonymous, neglected, or otherwise unremarkable or insignificant by the standards of their respective society.

No testing involving SCP-4999 has been authorized or attempted, due to available data indicating that observation of a subject precludes its manifestation, as well as ethical concerns.

Discovery: SCP-4999 was initially discovered as the result of its emerging status as an urban legend, with footage of the entity appearing on hospital security cameras worldwide being disseminated via the Internet and various television programs. A minor disinformation program was put into effect to maintain this public image, and SCP-4999 was officially registered on November 27th, 1998.

In the years following SCP-4999's classification, additional research and cross-referencing with accounts of similar phenomena have suggested that while concrete evidence of SCP-4999 appearances has become more commonplace due to the advent of photography and video recording technology in the modern era, writings and artistic depictions of a figure exhibiting similar properties, behavior and physical resemblance to SCP-4999 exist throughout world history, culture, and mythology, with some accounts being thousands of years old - in some cases predating human civilization.

It is not currently understood how pre-modern cultures would have been capable of detecting SCP-4999's presence. Investigation is ongoing.

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