The 13th Floor

A Scrambled Signal Turns Terrifying on “The Channel”

The following entry, as in the case of most creepypasta posts, could not be traced to a specific author, and this particular account was a bit erratic and disoriented in its original form, so I’ve edited it for clarity.

The origin of this story dates back to the days before digital television signals, so there may be “updated” versions circulating out there — but it’s safe to assume those versions are embellished or false. I can’t conclusively say the same for this one.

Image Credit: Saknakorn
Image Credit: Saknakorn

The author begins by describing a strange tone which began emanating from her television whenever it was tuned to a specific channel. Not always, but enough to catch her attention. She describes it as the kind of hum you hear from stereo speakers when the receiver is tuned to an unused wavelength, but with the volume at a high level. A deep dead vibration… the sound of nothingness.

At first, the tone was accompanied only by TV static… but one day she decided to experiment and adjust the tuning to improve the signal on that channel. That was the first time, she claims, she could barely make out the faces of people buried within the static.

20160629_171805

At first, the oddest thing about the faces she saw there was their lack of movement; it seemed they were only still images placed in front of a TV camera, or a video recording paused on a single frame.

Then she noticed that some of the faces were disfigured in various ways.

Some were simply twisted in strange expressions; others bore scars, lesions, oozing sores or similar disfigurements. She never saw their entire bodies; only the unmoving images of their faces.

2016-06-2915.32.18

They were staring blankly at the screen, not seeming to see the camera, but staring beyond the lens… almost as if they were looking directly at her.

A few weeks passed, and the images on the channel began to change.

The faces which had seemed diseased or scarred now started to look more horrific; either the subjects’ condition had worsened, or the image was simply gaining enough clarity to reveal the extent of their disfigurement. The author thought it looked like they were decomposing with each passing day.

2016-06-2915.36.52

Not long after that, the tone and the images began to bleed into other channels, interfering with broadcasts, appearing as ghost-like superimposition on whatever programming was in progress.

Dismissing the problem as purely technical, she resolved to replace the old television set. But before she disposed of it, she switched it on for one last look at that strange signal and the accompanying images.

Image Credit: Saknakorn
Image Credit: Saknakorn

But it was no longer broadcasting. The tone, the faces, everything was gone. The other channels tuned in normally, but the other anomalies no longer appeared, no matter what she did to try bringing them back. She still bought a new set, but kept the original in a spare room and basically forgot about it.

That is, until she heard that noise again in the middle of the night.

The familiar tone was coming from the TV in the spare room. It had somehow switched itself on… despite the fact that she’d never plugged it in after moving it to its new location.

The images had returned as well. But this time, the faces seemed clearer… and possibly even nearer to the camera. It looked as if they were outside a distorted window, peering in, trying to see inside.

2016-06-2915.37.34

She hit the power button and the TV went silent. She struggled to come up with a rational explanation for the sounds and pictures emanating from the unpowered set… it had to be some kind of electrical anomaly, or maybe she only thought she’d left it unplugged.

Regardless, she made absolutely sure it was unplugged this time… and the following morning, she carried the set out to the curb and called a charity organization to come pick it up.

That seemed to be the end of it… but of course, you know that’s never the case with these kinds of stories.

The last time we ever hear from the author, she reveals that the hideous faces are back again. But they’re not coming from her new TV… or any other TV, for that matter. This time, she claims, she can see them everywhere. The tone is back too: it’s getting louder… and she thinks she can hear voices embedded in it.

The faces are still out of focus, lingering at the very corner of her peripheral vision… but something very important has changed.

“They’re moving,” she says.

x