There are viral videos, and there are VIRAL videos. That is, some videos have a mythical reputation for invading viewers’ subconscious minds through images and sounds, infecting their unprepared brains like a digital parasite.
One of these notorious clips — and the source of this infamous creepypasta — goes by the cryptic name “Agamemnon Counterpart.”
The source of many urban myths, and one of the most talked-about subjects among paranormal and creepypasta communities like 4chan’s /x/ and Reddit’s NoSleep, “Agamemnon” is probably the creepiest 90 seconds you’ll ever experience.
Here it is…
This weirdness reportedly began back in 2004, when the video above first surfaced on the web with no apparent explanation of its origin or purpose. The lengthy prologue title card (it takes up nearly a third of the video’s running time) doesn’t really explain anything, but instead actually muddies the waters even more:
If you haven’t played the video yet (I don’t blame you if you’re too spooked), I’ll try my best to give you an overview of the surreal contents:
After the title card comes what looks like a nightmare version of a poorly-animated children’s educational cartoon; as a warbling tune plays in the background, the words “LET’S MAKE A NEW FRIEND” appear over the wriggling landscape. Beneath that, a pair of creepy characters come toward the viewer: a yellow frog-like humanoid (who seems to have hands for feet) and a blue, one-eyed, tentacled alien.
That’s when the screaming begins.
Agonized, ear-splitting shrieks play under the next series of images: a boy with no facial features other than a gasping mouth; a sea of the blue alien things and a floating lower-case “a.”
The screams, which sound disturbingly genuine, become more intense as the yellow frog character returns, but this time his head detaches from his body and floats toward the viewer, glowing with an eerie, pulsating halo.
Still with me? Good. Now comes the really weird part.
After several seconds of these images, we’re suddenly presented with this Lovecraftian monstrosity:
The boy, now with mouths where his eyes should be, is shown standing among this sickening, hallucinogenic landscape before the entire image breaks up into a horrific kaleidoscope.
Then the clip simply ends.
As you can imagine, something this disturbing is likely to fire up the imaginations of many creative viewers… and it damn well did. Users leaped to various forums, unloading every crazed theory imaginable for this twisted abomination.
The most pervasive (and creepiest) backstory among them involves a crime known as the “Khor-B’ha rape case.” It’s been alleged that the screaming on the audio track comes from a “snuff” video of a Japanese student being raped and murdered by two perpetrators, who then attempted to record over their own footage with whatever was on the television at the moment — which turned out to be a surreal, psychedelic children’s program. The poor quality of the recording caused the original audio to “bleed” through the new footage.
Of course, the mythology expanded from there, to include the idea that watching the video could allow a dangerous virus to be stealthily uploaded. But not to your computer… to your brain. This electronic infection would then “reprogram” your cerebral cortex to receive new input from an unknown malignant source, for an equally unknown purpose.
Okay, now that you’re totally freaked, it’s spoiler time.
As it turns out, “Agamemnon Counterpart” is actually a film project by experimental artist Michael Robinson, from the underground filmmaking community known as Moviate Collective. Robinson collaborated with fellow Moviate artist Jason Kovac to use early video technology in a way that would profoundly disturb viewers, and “both celebrate and denounce the analog-to-digital TV transition in the United States.” Or something like that. It’s all pretty vague.
The short was supposedly screened at the Artsfest Film Festival in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania… where I’m sure it caused more than a little distress among audience members.