Halloween may be over, but there’s no reason the scares have to stop there. Sometimes, when I’ve gotten through the films and books and want something different, there’s a website full of “short stories” that I love to enjoy. That website is known as the SCP Foundation.
The SCP Foundation, SCP standing for “Secure, Contain, Protect,” is a site full of short stories centered on a paramilitary organization dedicated to capturing and studying paranormal items and entities. Each “item” is given a number and provided a description, containment procedures and, depending on the writer, some additional details obtained from “testing.” The site also houses a collection of stories, or “tales,” written by the site’s users that expands on the items collected by the foundation. Think of it as a rated-R version of “The X-Files.”
The objects, entities and phenomena they catalogue on the site range from the strangely whimsical to the downright grisly. There’s a play that causes the actors to kill themselves onstage and the crowd to erupt into spontaneous violence. How about a continuously mutating lizard monster that can’t be killed? Perhaps a story about a man doomed to wander the earth, bringing doom to all he meets is more up your alley? If not, how about an entire town still suffering the effects of summoning a dark being?
On the lighter side, there’s a coffee machine that’ll make you anything you want, but be careful what you ask for. One of the more heartwarming stories is a ceramic bowl that makes you soup while channeling the spirit of your father. For more of a laugh, there’s a house occupied by a outer-dimensional being that’s bigoted toward humans. Finally, one of my other favorites, a silver bell that’ll summon a butler named Mr. Deeds, who will do whatever you ask, even if that means murder.
It’s slowly become one of my favorite fictional universes. Despite frequent turns toward very disturbing content, it’s the feeling of unease that comes from reading about a particularly scary story that’s both satisfying and unnerving at the same time. With an incredibly lively community and an ever-growing number of SCP subjects to read about, the foundation will remain a bookmark in my browser for a long time.