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Rook ♖ #00000001

Hey there, folks. You might be wondering why this thread has been added, and pinned, to this subforum.

This is an experimental "gigathread" of sorts for people to post their stories. Maybe it's one you're nervous about making your own thread for, for one reason or another. Maybe it's a story that's too short for the minimum OP length we set for creation. Maybe you're in a hurry. Or maybe you're just not that great at writing long form prose (And that's okay!).

This is a place for you to be able to share your tales, regardless. Now, in addition to the overall site rules, there are some extra ones specifically for this, which will be adjusted for any further gigathreads staff creates.

  1. All posts herein must focus mainly on this sub-forum's topic, that being spooky, mysterious or just bizarre internet culture. Whether it's forgotten Web 1.0 relics, a figment of a memory of a strange Flash movie you saw on Newgrounds, or even a video from the Weird Part of Youtube you can't find anymore.
  2. No self-promotion or attempts to start Alternate Reality Games in this thread. Talking about ARGs is perfectly fine, but if it's deemed you're posting here to give traffic to your interactive analog horror series or something, we're giving you the boot.
  3. No witch-hunting. There are no exceptions; don't be a rules lawyering smartass.

That's it; have fun, everyone.

kenneth2332 #79122145

Guess I'll start.

In the late 2000s, I was a fan of this internet horror site called "the Handlers." Not sure if you've heard of it – it was kind of popular, but very niche. It wasn't a big community of writers, so we kind of all knew each other.

The premise of "the Handlers" was that there were eight thousand humans who all personified—"handled"—a concept, which gave them certain powers. There were a few simple rules all Handlers faced. One, if you challenged a Handler to a game, and you won, you became the new Handler, but if you lost, you suffered a horrible fate. Two, when two Handlers met, they had to play the game with each other, and the winner would consume the loser's Handle. Three, when there was only one Handler left, they would become the Handler of All Things. Basically, God. Think of them as a cross between Yu-Gi-Oh and Highlander.

Most of the articles described what the Handler handled, and the game they would play. The games were creepy and surreal – metaphorical chess involving people in your life, ping pong where every missed swing destroyed a possible future, Pokemon where your mons were every pet you'd ever mourned.

The scary thing about the handlers is that they could be anyone. That busker playing chess in the park, the 14 year old shooting hoops in the basketball court, the ten year old shit-talking you on Call of Duty – any of them could be a Handler. If you challenged them to a friendly casual game or rose to their taunts, you could get sucked into a dark metaphor or your worst nightmare. And it wouldn't be easy to beat them. They would almost always win.

It sounds cheesy, but I was actually so afraid of running into a Handler in real life. I guess that's why I never bothered writing for the Handlers.

The community just sort of died off. Weirdly enough it was after someone proposed a ranking bot, something to track who the best authors were and how many handlers they'd written. You'd think that would have helped it rise – it works really well for Reddit – and everyone seemed really excited about it, but people just sort of… stopped. The community just faded away.

I haven't checked that site in a really long time, but the last Handler I read—the only thing posted in like a year— is something that I still remember. It was written by the same guy who proposed the rating bot, the last big author on the site:

"The Handler of the Ladder"

Wherever there might be a challenge, wherever there might be a hierarchy, the Handler of the Ladder plays his games. He will offer a ladder to climb, a destiny to attain – but he will always be there at the top. He will tempt you to chase him, and you will give away your soul upon the ladder that he creates – but it is an illusion. He sits at the top of the ladder, and always will.

FishTruther #72442724

Thought I’d share this here so more people can take a look.

About a week ago I was going on a YouTube binge when this weird ad popped up. It was around 7 minutes long and unskippable, which just made me think whoever posted it must really misunderstand how ads work. I decided to let it play for a bit (Busy day, I know.) to see what the ad’s deal was, but I got nothing. The ad was just a blank screen, with the number 724 appearing in comic sans maybe once around the 2-minute mark? idrk, I only got through about 4 minutes before skipping it. I didn’t catch the name of the channel that made it, which, looking back, was a bad move on my part. The weirdest thing started happening after I saw the ad though.

For some reason, the number won’t stop showing up in my everyday life: I’ll go to the store across the street and pay $7.24 for my things, drive to work and get stuck in traffic behind a car with 724 in its license plate, and wake up at 7:24 every morning.

At first I thought I was just being paranoid, I’d seen the number in a weird setting and every time I saw it now I’d remember it more easily, right? But I can’t keep ignoring it. I’ve always celebrated my birthday in December, but my birth certificate now states that I was born on February 7. A few days ago I woke up in a different apartment, only to find that I now lived in apartment 72, on the fourth floor.

The number is everywhere and in everything. I’ve surrendered to the all-encompassing 724.

Won’t you?

AlmondWaterConnoisseur #86852815

I have very strong memories of a horror-thriller webseries from way back in YouTube's life cycle, sometime around early 2006. Predating Marble Hornets, Cameraheads, The Human Pet, and even Lonelygirl15.

The only problem is, I'm starting to have doubts that it even existed.

But I'll get back to that later. First, let me tell you about what I remember about JensenAleph.

It was made back in the days where editing software was prohibitively expensive, and you needed to be made Partner by Youtube to upload stuff longer than 10 minutes. So the amateur nature showed badly. The video quality was abysmal even by 2006 standards. Most of the time background noise drowned out anything the protagonist-the titular Jensen-said. Videos would start and end abruptly in the middle of sentences. And Jensen couldn't act, stammering and muttering half his words, with the other half being delivered so woodenly that a dull pencil would have more charisma.

But YouTube was still a novelty back in those days, not the neoliberal corporate mess it is now, so I kept watching in spite of everything, not knowing any better.

The actual plot of JensenAleph didn't actually start right away. There were several dozen videos that were as mundane as can be; Jensen filming while walking his dog, recording him and his wife dancing along to a Pet Shop Boys song, or vlogging about whatever annoyed him that day. All of it didn't really serve any purpose except to drip feed information about Jensen and his life. He was 29; he and his wife had been married for 5 years; he worked at a warehouse for a company he couldn't name for legal reasons…boring stuff like that.

Things took a turn around, I believe, his 30th video. Seated at his kitchen table, Jensen described, shakily, of how his neighbor-whom he'd known for more than a decade-had had a psychotic break or something. Not recognizing him when he'd went by to return a DVD player he'd borrowed from them, screaming at him and calling him a "thief" and "trespasser" no matter how many times he tried to calm them down. It escalated to the point where they almost broke Jensen's nose, and the police had to be called. The video ended abruptly, when Jensen heard knocking on his front door.

He followed up a month later with four videos, panicked and filming in a hotel room. He explained that after the incident with his neighbor, more strange shit started happening in his life. Their house had somehow been quietly demolished in the middle of the night, and there was nothing but a patch of gravel and weeds where it was. Their phone number, email, and MySpace either did not work or were erased. The rest of his neighbors, the sanitation plant they worked at, and even his own wife denied that they knew the guy. The final straw for Jensen was when he rifled through his photo albums, and literally every single picture that had the neighbor in it was gone, only an empty sleeve remaining.

Shit had gone badly for Jensen in the intervening time. He'd been fired from his job, his wife had kicked him out of the house until he "sorted himself out", and the rest of the neighborhood was shunning him. And he was afraid to even leave the motel, as sedans with tinted windows drove around the place constantly and unfamiliar people wearing clothes that were "too smooth" were walking around the complex.

Another knock on the door.

Another cut to black.

His next video came two weeks after. His hands are jittering, filming a distant building from what looks to be a forest. Jensen's voice is manic; he claims he figured it out. That the sanitation plant had something to do with what happened to his neighbor. Saying he didn't remember when it was established, like it had just appeared one day. That the place got frequent noise complaints, and no one but the employees were allowed inside. No press, no authorities; nobody. And, as he was filming the video, there were helicopters-"look government", he claimed-that frequently took off and landed from somewhere in the facility.

"Why would a sewage treatment plant need helicopters?" he finished the video with.

His uploads after that were much more frequent, although the video quality continued to degrade, being a blur of lights and sounds on top of the already low video resolution. They were also very short, the longest one only clocking in at about 2 minutes. Not much actually happened within them. He'd record security guards patrolling around the place, narrowly missing being seen, or filming bubbles forming in a waste stabilization pond. The most notable one I remember, the aforementioned 2-minute mark, was him looking at a sewage pipe that ran from the back of the plant, zooming in through the bars into its innards.

Just before the video ended, there was a screeching sound that echoed through the pipe, and something dashed through a junction further in. It cut to black just as a klaxon began going off.

It was also the last video where Jensen was seen alive.

The final video I remember seeing on JensenAleph, uploaded almost a year later, was a complete departure from all of the others. It was filmed on a tripod, and Jensen's wife stood in front of it, her eyes puffy and skin pale. Jensen had apparently broken into the sewage treatment plant, shortly after uploading the last video, taking the supervisor hostage at gunpoint and making "incoherent demands" towards both him and the police that responded to the scene. By the time a SWAT team was able to make it into the facility, the supervisor had been killed-a bullet clean through his forehead-and Jensen was nowhere to be seen. The security cameras had caught him going in, but there was absolutely no sign of him coming out. She said the reason why it'd taken so long for her to put the video up was because the feds relentlessly questioned her, her neighbors and their families about Jensen. Trying to find his motives, and looking into the videos he uploaded before. She'd only just gotten the account's password reset, and wasn't even sure if she was allowed to upload the video at all.

It ended with text flashing on the screen, of an email and phone number, with her breaking down into sobs, begging anyone who watched the channel to help find her husband. A distant knocking sound, and the video ended.

I remember losing interest in JensenAleph sometime after that, not out of boredom but because 2007 was a really bad year for me, medically, and I had to deal with so many prescriptions and injections that an amateur web series was very low on my priority list. It was only after 2018 rolled around that it came back to my memory, as I was reading through the Lost Media Wiki, and got me thinking.

Putting JensenAleph won't turn up any results on YouTube these days, and no social medias with that name exist elsewhere online. Even looking through all the sites on Wayback produce zilch, nada. I've asked around on Reddit, Lost Media Wiki, and on any internet sleuthing Discord I could find, and no one could find anything. After a point, people just stopped replying to my efforts, and if I tried to revive things I would get banned.

And what's even stranger is…I couldn't, for the life of me, tell you what Jensen and his wife looked like, or where the series was located. I can recall very vague details, like-again-her eyes being puffy and Jensen having some kind of mole on his chin, but the rest of their faces, their real names, the name of the neighborhood or sanitation plant, even what state they were in…it's like it's completely gone from even the depths of my memories.

But here's the most fucked thing. One of the details that I remember, and can't seem to shake.

It was the crying of Jensen's wife in the last video. It was extremely visceral; the sobs were so harsh that it sounded like she was choking at times. Much more raw than any of the other performances I'd seen in the series.

What if she wasn't acting?

aqout #86730021

Ooo okay hmm

I swear I saw a few weeks ago this thumbnail for a classic Nostalgia Critic video about something called "Ron’s Gone Wrong", like that new animated film that came out. It only shared the name from what I saw though. It had the critic character with an arm around this red-haired fellow and the other hand sticking a finger up the ginger’s nose (you know how the earlier thumbnails were). At the time I vaguely recalled a move that was like Dumb and Dumber or the Ernest franchise, with this really annoying character named Ron. Think he was a genetic experiment or something. Anyhow at the time I thought "huh so they’re remaking it in name only?", then moved on.

About a week after that when the film came out (haven't watched it, though my cousin loved it, unsure what that's says as-to its quality) I got curious and looked up the film on Wikipedia. What a twist, it didn’t exist. I think what happened was that my memory mutated and combined the images of a few of the classic era thumbnails, specifically A Troll in Central Park and Drop Dead Fred, but I swear it was it’s own video.

Not much to it beyond that but hey that's what's this thread is for.

UnterUns #36478628

When I was a kid, maybe like sixth grade or so, I had a friend named Jerrod whose family were really poor. I remember having to give Jerrod my lunch a couple of times that year, or maybe the previous year cause we might have gone to the same elementary school. But I remember it was like two months before the end of sixth grade and Jerrod came to school with a new lunchbox and it had a really nice sandwich, I think it might have been salami on a baguette or something, and fancy Trader Joe's cookies and some new Pokemon cards he immediately started trading.

I asked him how he got the cards and he got very excited and also very quiet, and he leaned in and told me his family weren't poor anymore because his dad invented a website called slombo.com and they were making lots of money, more money than they had seen in their lifetime. That day I think I went to look at this website because I didn't believe him. I'm not sure what I imagined, that he stole the sandwich or something? I must have gone and looked at it. This was like around just after the Dotcom boom or so, like early 2000s, so I didn't have a home computer I could use. But, the school did have a computer lab and so I guess I visited slombo.com there.

I don't remember very much of what was there now, but I remember this deep navy blue color to the site with these purple tabs. There were stories you could read, a shop you could visit, and a page of videos to download. I clicked on one of the stories first because that was what was on the homepage, and I read a little bit about a boy my age who was obsessed with very muscly men, like superheroes and wrestlers and stuff. I vividly remember being upset by it in a way. I guess it was fiction, like it was written like a short story with this odd dense writing I didn't really understand. In the shop section I also distinctly remember seeing Jerrod's exact lunchbox, and sandwich, and cookies, and Pokemon cards, and thinking that was weird, like you could buy the salami sandwich on the internet or something. I don't remember the videos, but I do remember unplugging the computer and being terrified I would be caught. I wasn't the most computer-savvy kid at that time, but there were some friends who were older and bragged about downloading files of gore videos and porn and that frightened me a lot as well, so it must have been something like that but I don't know. The only thing I can piece together about the video was that I asked Jerrod about it later and he told me very seriously that that was the one with "the trunt" (???) and he didn't like watching it. I don't know what that means.

I'm not sure of how much of this is real and how much I fabricated after the fact. I was kind of a sheltered kid, I had parents who wouldn't let me watch NickToons because they were "too cynical" and I was warned a lot about scary movies that I wouldn't like and of course my imagination always made them worse in my head than they were. I had nightmares easily, but after the slombo.com visit I kept having this recurring dream where I would be driving home at night with my family and we'd be pulling up to our house, but our front door would open and a black squiggly man would bolt out and drip slime behind him as he ran away. And the car radio would play this ominous tone that would boom out and I'd feel bone-deep terror but the car wouldn't stop and then I'd wake up. I had what I eventually called the "slombo dream" every couple of nights for like two years after that. The only reason I remember it well was because my mom took me to a youth psychologist when I was like 14 and she encouraged me to keep a dream journal, which I found recently.

I don't know if I ever told my parents about slombo.com, I think they thought me calling it the "slombo dream" was a reference to something that happened in it? But they must have been aware of slombo.com because they were friends with Jerrod's parents (it was one of the reasons we hung out so much) and so they were over at their house a lot. I remember they'd have these parties with champagne and the psychologist was there too, maybe for me? But when those parties happened Jerrod went to his room and didn't talk to anybody. I tried to look up slombo.com but the URL had decayed and it's not on the Internet Archive. I guess it must have been popular because one night we went over to Jerrod's new house and it was like a mansion, but I can't find anything today that refers to it?

Has anyone ever heard of slombo.com? What was it? Some kind of obscure fetish homepage? That's the only answer I can think of, but it doesn't really feel right.

fordunfocused #73019926

When I was about 20, I worked at a place called “Liminal Space”. It was a company that cleaned, more specifically, cleaned corridors. It was weird. But then one guy happened to want a corridor cleaned.

Of course, I had to do the job. It was a church, but like a really fancy one. It looked clean. It was all white and, from what I could tell, was Protestant? Like there was no fancy decorations like stained glass windows but was modern. It didn’t look like a church. But it had all this chambers that led to each other. Some were horizontal. Most were diagonal. Some were even vertical (don’t know how they built them.

I also remember the doors. Doors were everywhere. I got curious and opened a few up, but they all just led empty rooms. Some doors were on the ceiling. I opened one and saw the same empty room.

But I opened another door on the ceiling.

It was a bigger room. Like, as big as my house. I saw a chair in the corner of the room. I got curious.

I climbed up.

I quickly realised chairs were all over the room, facing away from the door. Some ceiling were on the walls or ceiling. One chair, one on the wall, had a person in it. A blue person. I went out of the room and ran as fast as possible. But then I saw the blue man was running after me, crying for help. I closed doors behind me, which slowed it down.

I never heard of Liminal Space again.

We had a website (https://liminalspace.co.uk) but it got taken down. And all I can remember is our mascot. Come to think of it, I can’t exactly remember what the mascot was, but I’ll update when (if) I remember

fordunfocused #73019926


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