Prepare for the most delicious weirdhole you’ve tasted in quite some time. Take a wiki, add a good if not necessarily totally original idea, and then ram endless fistfuls of ingenuity down its gullet until it becomes original again.
I give you The SCP Foundation. Essentially, this can be described as an online catalogue of Area 51 / Warehouse 13 / that warehouse from the Indiana Jones movies and the like. However, clearly when starting this off the creators had a conversation that started, ‘How can we make sure it’s nothing like those things?’
The answer? You make every entry a truly surreal subversion of everything from the mundane to the monstrous. There’s no obligation for each thing to be terrible and demonic, in fact most of them are simply incomprehensible.
I don’t think I can really do it justice and I’ve only started dipping into it myself. So rather than do it a disservice, here are some selected highlights:
- SCP-529 – Josie. SCP-529 is a small house cat (Felis catus) with grey tabby markings. Parts of the animal to the rear of the end of the ribcage appear to be missing. The body terminates sharply as if sliced in two.
- SCP-1981 – SCP-1981 is a standard Betamax tape. “RONALD REGAN CUT UP WHILE TALKING”(sic) has been handwritten on the adhesive sticker in felt tip pen … SCP-1981 appears to be a home video recording of former United States President Ronald Reagan delivering his “Evil Empire” speech to the National Association of Evangelicals at Sheraton Twin Towers Hotel, Orlando, FL on 3/8/1983. However, at 1 minute and 10 seconds, the speech begins to deviate heavily, eventually resembling no known speech ever made by Reagan. Beginning at approximately 5 minutes, multiple incisions, lacerations and penetration wounds can be seen being slowly inflicted, though no corresponding source of these wounds is visible. Despite suffering bodily harm that would likely incapacitate an ordinary person, Reagan will continue to deliver his speech until either his vocal cords are severed or the tape degrades to static at 22:34.
- SCP-1026 – Someone You Know. SCP-1026 is an entity that produces a powerful mental effect on any observer who sees it directly. This effect causes the observer to become completely convinced that SCP-1026 is someone who they know and trust.
- SCP-028 – Knowledge. Subjects “entering” SCP-028 are, within three (3) to six (6) seconds, struck by total and complete knowledge of a subject … [such as]:
- Every phonebook entry for New York City in 1998
- How to redesign the internal combustion engine to run on human blood, using only pre-existing parts. (Note: Full redesign takes four (4) hours, and runs at higher efficiency than gasoline.)
- Location of keys for a Buick LeSabre
- The proper method of care for a mole rat colony
- Origin and history of twelve SCP objects. (Note: The main [EXPUNGED])
- Family history of the Blackthorn family, located in London, England.
- Geological structure of the earth beneath Greenland, including several unknown caves and [EXPUNGED]
The care taken on the taxonomy, processes and semantics pays off. There’s a real sense of clarity and purpose, this wasn’t just some people goofing about (although they do have joke entries, including SCP-095-J for fans of Comic Sans).
It’s utterly commendable, frequently baffling, regularly sinister and exactly the kind of thing that I wish I’d set up.