The Art of Darkness

The SCP Foundation

June 25th, 2012 by Cobwebs

SCP ImageThe SCP Foundation is one of those wonderful pockets of deep weirdness that the Internet seems to constantly spawn. It is presented on its face with absolute sincerity, and it’s only by digging well down into its depths that you discover its true nature (and also that you can play along).

Its motto is “To Secure, Contain, and Protect” (hence the name), and you know that bit at the end of Indiana Jones where shadowy government agents are shown storing the Ark of the Covenant in some very large and clearly-arcane warehouse? If those guys had a Website, this would be it. The heart of the site is the “SCP Series” links (nav bar at the top of the page), which list, in highly official language, the various things that the Foundation guards.

The series entries are marvelously evocative, hinting at strange and eldritch realms that threaten public safety–and sometimes the world itself–which are kept contained by the SCP. They’ve got what appears to be a Classical Greek vase, with instructions to store it at freezing temperatures…in a room which doubles as an incinerator. Sometimes it spontaneously generates bizarre, hostile little humanoid monsters which fortunately are highly flammable.

They keep tabs on an abandoned school building where unconscious students and faculty who disappeared years previously are sometimes found (sadly, when awakened they die of extreme dehydration, followed by rapid decomposition); and also on a morgue where the dead keep returning to life.

They’ve got a helmet which seems to cause the wearer to become possessed by a Roman infantryman (they hold regular interviews with him) and they’ve got Kali in a cage (and are trying to prevent her followers from murdering enough people to set her free).

Then again, they also have the Tickle Monster.

You’re allowed to play along. Their Guides section (also at the top nav) contains information on how to write and submit a “contained” item of your very own. Their Classes and Library sections discuss object classifications, and also list items that they’re not interested in hearing about any more (stop submitting the Holy Grail and talking dogs).

The site is a marvelous source of inspiration, and a wonderful way to immerse oneself in the spookily plausible.

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