The 13th Floor

CREEPYPASTA: “LIARS” — A Grisly VHS Tape with a Hideous History

With the Thanksgiving holiday looming, we decided to spring this week’s creepypasta column on you a day early, so you have one seriously scary story to freak the hell out of your annoying relatives around the turkey table tomorrow (I’m generalizing, of course; I’m sure your family is full of wonderful people… but every family’s got one of those, if you know what I mean). Also, out of respect to the victims, I want to steer clear of any further content regarding the real-life murder in Indiana connected to the creepypasta legend of “Laughing Jack.” You can read more about that one on the national news, if you must.

So let’s get on with this week’s discovery, which allegedly dates back to the late 1980s: the tale of an anonymous VHS tape bearing a horrifying image and a single onscreen caption: LIARS.

Much like the story of Jeff the Killer (which I covered in my introductory “Creepypasta 101” feature), the tale of this tape begins with a persecuted teenager, who in most versions has been assigned the pseudonym “Jimmy.” Jimmy had a reputation in school as a smartass, and one day his antics got him in trouble with the wrong crowd: a gang of bullies trapped him in the science lab, whereupon their ringleader burned Jimmy’s face with formic acid. Jimmy was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and the perpetrators made a pact to conceal the details of the attack from the authorities, instead telling them they had found Jimmy in this condition after hearing his screams.

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Jimmy’s facial features were nearly destroyed by the acid, and he languished in the Intensive Care Unit for weeks, unable to move or speak… until one day, he managed to whisper a single word: “Liars.” Even after he was released from the hospital, it was the only word Jimmy could speak.

Image Credit: iStock/STILLFX
Image Credit: iStock/STILLFX

Many months later, the ringleader of the acid attack received a package in the mail containing a VHS tape. On the tape was a crudely-shot image of one of the bully’s accomplices, groveling naked on a dirty basement floor, illuminated only by the harsh light of the camera. His body is covered in bruises and bloody lacerations. Prompted by the unseen, unheard camera operator, the boy confesses to a series of murders, sobbing with horror and regret.

The teen is forced to stand up and face the camera… and as he stands, we see a pile of other naked bodies in the background, stacked against the far wall. Each of the bodies is in a similar battered state, but these boys are clearly dead from their injuries, their skin gray from blood loss. (It would later be revealed by police that the victims were also co-conspirators who helped conceal the attack on Jimmy.) The still-living subject is made to turn around, his back to the camera. Carved crudely into his flesh is a single word… LIAR.

The scene cuts abruptly to one final image, shot outdoors in broad daylight: Jimmy reveals himself as the camera operator, having turned the camera around for a final, fleeting closeup of his hideously mutilated face as the word LIARS appears onscreen, and the audio explodes into loud, screeching distortion before the image drops out altogether. There is no further content on the tape.

Authorities discovered this tape in the recipient’s VCR, auto-wound to the beginning, the television still on but showing only static. The boy’s parents had arrived home one evening to find him dead in his chair, still facing the screen, his features an unrecognizable mass of putrefying flesh.

Forensics identified the cause of death as trauma due to severe acid burns.

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