SCP-5172
rating: +37+x
Item#: 5172
Level2
Containment Class:
keter
Secondary Class:
none
Disruption Class:
vlam
Risk Class:
critical

Special Containment Procedures:

Social media, SMS, and telephone traffic are to be monitored for mention of "ice machines" from devices connected to hotel1 wi-fi networks within North America.

Due to the prevalence of false memories related to SCP-5172, no attempt at correcting public beliefs pertaining to "hotel ice machines" is to be undertaken at this time. Research is focused on uncovering memes and anti-memes that may counter or remove such widespread false memories.

Hallway.jpeg
Photograph taken by a test subject during a Zalmunna Event. Subject claimed that they were being observed by an unidentified individual obscured by the fifth door on the right. See file data for more information. Hover to enlarge. Click here to see full size.

Containment is to focus on the detection and disruption of Zalmunna Events. See Addendum 2 for more information. MTF Mu-9 ("Weary Travelers") will be dispatched to the location of suspected Zalmunna Events in progress to remove detected instances of SCP-5172-1 and bring specimens back for further examination. All ice machines found at locations affected by SCP-5172 are to be removed and relocated to Site-30.

Foundation personnel whose work requires them to stay in hotels in North America are to be briefed on SCP-5172. Personnel will be provided with the materials indicated in Addendum 4, "North American Hotel Protocol for Foundation Personnel."

Description:

SCP-5172 is a phenomenon that affects guests at North American hotels. Affected individuals will perceive a machine that serves the sole function of dispensing ice. These ice machines, while otherwise non-anomalous, are typically located in the hallway of the guest's floor, in close proximity to an elevator lobby or a storage closet. Ice machines are not common amenities in North American hotels; in fact, they do not appear in any contemporary hotels outside of those affected by SCP-5172. Nonetheless, a false memory of having perceived an ice machine is estimated to affect roughly 80% of the North American population. See Addendum 1 for more information.

Individuals who perceive and then use these ice machines will initiate a Zalmunna Event. This is likely to cause an instance of SCP-5172-1 to materialize, and it is very likely to result in the individual's injury or death.

Addendum 1. History of hotel ice machines.

In the 1950s, Holiday Inn founder Kennon Williams attempted to distinguish his hotel chain from competitors by offering more amenities to travelers, free of charge. Standard practice among hotels at the time was to charge travelers an additional fee if they requested ice. Williams believed that leaving out an ice machine for guests to freely use would be a welcome amenity. The expense incurred by purchasing this equipment and other amenities2 was not offset by a sufficient increase in customers. As such, the practice was discontinued by the mid-1960s. Ice is now readily available in many North American hotels through in-room miniature refrigerator ice dispensers or included in ice trays. Using or consuming ice found in these contexts has not been shown to cause or have any connection to the SCP-5172 phenomenon.

Despite the fact that hotel ice machines only existed for a brief period, members of the public in Canada, the United States, and Mexico widely hold the belief that these machines are ubiquitous to this day. Empirical testing has consistently demonstrated that hotel ice machines do not exist outside of those associated with SCP-5172. Only about 40 ice machines associated with the phenomenon are recovered per year. Yet a poll of the general public found that 82% of adults recalled memories of seeing a hotel ice machine. Of those who had stayed in hotels in the last year, 33% reported memories of having used said machines without incident.3 The source of these false memories, as well as their method of transmission, are still under investigation.

Discovery:

SCP-5172 was discovered in 1973 when Foundation personnel responded to what appeared to be a series of unsolved murders occurring at hotels in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Extensive testing inside of the hotels led researchers to discover the false memory related to ice machines. The investigation led to the placement of hidden cameras in each of the hotels' rooms; evidence collected here uncovered the connection between the ice machines, the SCP-5172 phenomenon, and Zalmunna Events.

Addendum 2. Zalmunna Events.

Initialization. The Zalmunna Event is triggered when a hotel guest (hereinafter "the target") perceives and subsequently uses a hotel ice machine.4 At this point, the only way to terminate the Event is to leave the building and sleep in a private residence.5 The ice does not actually need to be used or consumed for the Event to progress.

Stalking behavior and/or hallucinations. The target will almost immediately begin to perceive an individual (or individuals) watching them from elsewhere in the hotel. Typically, these individuals first appear on the far end of the hallway where the Zalmunna Event was initiated. Third-party observers are unable to perceive any individuals observing the target. Attempts to seize, record, or photograph the individuals supposedly watching the target have not produced evidence of their existence. Accordingly, the "watchers" are believed to be hallucinations. Descriptions of the individuals are fragmentary and do not show any consistent traits.

Confusion and fatigue. Within two hours of Event initialization, the target will display symptoms similar to those seen in early-stage dementia. If the target does not immediately return to their hotel room, they begin to demonstrate signs of confusion, difficulty completing everyday tasks, and short-term memory loss. After two hours have elapsed, the target also begins to feel a gradually increasing sense of fatigue.

Within four hours of Event initialization, the fatigue typically reaches the point that it becomes difficult or dangerous for the target to perform activities such as driving or swimming. Zalmunna Event survivors report feeling as if their mind is "too active" to fall asleep anywhere other than in a hotel bed. This typically leads the target to seek out their hotel room. In spite of this sensation, the target is not compelled to follow this course of action. The target may still seek out a bed located in a private residence if they are aware it is an option. Targets will not fall asleep outdoors or in public places, but will experience the standard health consequences associated with increasing sleep deprivation. Targets can only fall asleep in hotels or private residences; if they do fall asleep in a private residence, the Event is terminated. (See Addendum 4).

Sleep. When the target does reach a hotel bed, they immediately enter the hypnagogic state associated with the normal transitional period between wakefulness and sleep. Under normal conditions, the room's temperature begins to drop until it reaches approximately 11 degrees Celsius (51.8 degrees F).

After a brief period of hypnagogia, the target proceeds as normal through the sleep cycle until they enter slow-wave sleep.6 This typically occurs within one hour of laying in bed.

Appearance of SCP-5172-1. An instance of SCP-5172-1 appears after the target enters slow-wave sleep. It will generally phase through the door connecting the target's hotel room to the hallway. SCP-5172-1 is not perceptible to a person who is in the room with the target at the time of this entry, but can be observed through cameras and other devices.

The target returns to the hypnagogic state, but is unable to move. This results in a condition resembling sleep paralysis. SCP-5172-1 crawls towards the bed on all fours before assuming a "sitting" position on the target's chest. SCP-5172-1 inserts a thin, proboscis-like appendage into one or both of the target's eye sockets for several seconds. This does not cause physical damage, but it is theorized to be a way for SCP-5172-1 to transmit a paralytic agent or other substance to the target's brain to aid in the harvesting process that follows.

Harvesting behavior. After retracting the appendage, SCP-5172-1 opens its own chest cavity and retrieves a pair of unidentified tools. It then begins applying the tools and extracting cubes, measuring approximately 4 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm (1.57 inches), from the target's body. The cubes may consist of tissue, muscle, bone, semi-solid blood, or a combination thereof. SCP-5172-1 uses the tools in a "cutting and scooping" motion which appears to make all of these organic substances equally easy for it to collect; that is, bone is no more difficult to cut through than any other organic matter of the target. Each cube is placed into SCP-5172-1's open chest cavity before it repeats the process and collects another cube. The chest cavity is capable of containing more matter than its appearance would suggest.

SCP-5172-1's motions during harvesting begin slowly, collecting cubes at a rate of about two per minute. It gradually increases its pace until it is collecting approximately 50 cubes per minute. SCP-5172-1 typically completes the harvesting process after two to three hours of activity. After completion, SCP-5172-1 returns to the hallway door and phases into it, dematerializing.

Survival of Zalmunna Event: Restricted to Clearance Levels 4 and above only.

Addendum 3. SCP-5172-1.

SCP-5172-1 is an individual instance of a humanoid entity approximately 122 cm (48 inches) in height and 28.6 kg (63 lbs) in weight. Its arms are about twice the length of what would normally be expected of a human of these dimensions. It also has pronounced frontal and parietal bones, creating the appearance of an elongated forehead. The proboscis-like appendage measures approximately 90 cm (35.4 inches) and extends and retracts from the "mouth" on the instance's face.

Image Unavailable
SCP-5172-1. Image captured by hidden camera during Zalmunna Event.

If a Zalmunna Event is interrupted by an individual's sudden entry into the hotel room, the SCP-5172-1 instance will cease harvesting and attempt to attack the individual. Its strength is comparable to that of a human of its stature, but the tools that SCP-5172-1 uses during harvesting are capable of cutting through protective gear and causing serious injury. While it is not particularly strong, it is capable moving at an advanced speed as it approaches the end of the harvesting process. Extreme caution is advised for personnel attempting to neutralize an SCP-5172-1 instance that has almost completed a harvesting process.

If multiple people enter the room during the harvesting process, SCP-5172-1 will attempt to hide from sight. If it can escape the sight of all people in the room, the SCP-5172-1 instance will dematerialize.

SCP-5172-1 has several biological systems analogous to that of humans. Accordingly, it can be killed through the application of force that would typically be lethal for humans, such as stabbing or gunshots. Autopsies of recovered specimens show that SCP-5172-1 has circulatory systems, though the central circulatory organ (akin to a heart) is located in the head. As a result, SCP-5172-1 can expire from "blood loss" or sufficient head trauma. SCP-5172-1 does not appear to have respiratory or digestive organs. Recovered instances may possess male or female reproductive organs. These organs are misshapen and diminutive, corresponding to symptoms of human hypogonadism. These organs are likely vestigial, having no role in the reproduction of SCP-5172-1 instances. Killing an SCP-5172-1 instance, but leaving an ice machine in a hotel under the effect of SCP-5172, means that future Zalmunna Events can still occur on the premises.

Efforts to capture a live SCP-5172-1 instance have thus far been unsuccessful. Instances that do not have their hands bound are capable of spontaneously materializing their tools and cutting their way through containment chambers. Instances whose hands are bound or are otherwise rendered incapable of using its tools die within several minutes; similarly, the instance's tools disappear upon death. Research is underway regarding alternatives for close-up live study of SCP-5172-1 specimens.

Addendum 4. North American Hotel Protocol for Foundation Personnel.

Foundation personnel whose duties require them to stay in hotels are required to familiarize themselves with documentation surrounding SCP-5172. A log of confirmed SCP-5172 manifestations will be made available to personnel whose duties require regular hotel stays.

All personnel staying in hotels will be given single-purpose communication devices for reporting suspected SCP-5172 phenomena. Awareness of SCP-5172 is not enough to avoid triggering a Zalmunna Event. Several Foundation personnel, as hotel guests, have found themselves "absentmindedly" using an ice machine, despite being fully aware of the consequences. Personnel who have triggered a Zalmunna Event must report it to Command immediately in order to receive instructions for extraction. Personnel are not permitted to return to their hotel rooms without express approval from Command. If feasible, personnel will be given directions to a nearby Foundation safe-house where they can fall asleep in a way that terminates the Zalmunna Event.

As a final precaution, all personnel staying in hotels are required to wear heart-rate monitors at all times while on the hotel premises. In the event that personnel initiate a Zalmunna Event and are unable to notify Command prior to falling sleep, algorithmic detection of sudden increases in heart rate can be used to detect a Zalmunna Event in its early stages. Command will be notified of heart-rate irregularities and dispatch the nearest available MTF if personnel do not respond to communications. MTF response will occur in any situation where it is possible for a team to arrive to the completion of the Zalmunna Event.

Update - 2021-1-11. As of 2021, one confirmed instance of SCP-5172 has been located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Foundation personnel have recovered an ice machine and human remains indicative of a completed Zalmunna Event. This is the first known instance of SCP-5172 to occur outside of North America. Notably, the Netherlands had no prior public perception of "ice machines" as a common hotel amenity. At present, it is unclear if this is an isolated incident or if it signals that the anomaly is in the process of spreading to other locations. All available Site-30 resources are being shifted into investigating the possible reasons for SCP-5172's spread. Countering or mitigating the spread is now considered highest priority for 5172 research team personnel.

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