Today’s tale originates with a user who identifies himself as “Berry,” but whose full name is currently unknown. His blog entry describes a nightmarish afternoon he experienced while driving through Massachusetts in the spring of 2012 with an unnamed friend, but his detailed account of that day did not surface until two years ago, via the Creepypasta Wiki.
On a trip from Detroit to visit family in Boston, Berry and his friend (who was driving at the time) made a pit-stop at a run-down gas station in New York, where they came upon a vintage map, dated 1965. The map indicated an alternate route to Massachusetts, which if it still existed would shave off a considerable amount of time from their tedious drive. There was some indication that the route would take them through a small town, though there was no name listed for it.
But with ominous storm clouds looming overhead, the pair decided to risk the shortcut, in the interest of speeding up their journey as much as possible.
On the way, they passed through a wooded area that Berry described as “all burned, like if there was a huge forest fire.” He also began to notice a pervasive odor creeping into the car, “like the smell of a dead skunk… where you can still smell the regular skunk smell, but there’s also the scent of rotting flesh.”
Despite feeling a bit nervous — and more than a bit nauseous from the horrible stench — they stayed the course, determined to reach the town before the inevitable rains came.
Finally, they encountered the first sign of civilization: a weathered but still-legible road sign bearing the words WELCOME TO KNOWHERE.
As they passed the sign, Berry observed that the nasty smell finally began to dissipate… but at the same moment, he noticed their car radio’s signal was gone as well, suddenly cutting to heavy static, then complete silence. Tuning to a new frequency had no effect; it was as if the radio had shut itself off.
As they continued into the outskirts of “Knowhere,” they began to sense they had made a grave mistake choosing this route.
There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary about the town itself… at least on the surface. Buildings were in good condition, with lights in every window; lawns were healthy and well-manicured; shiny new cars occupied most of the driveways and parking lots… and that’s when Berry realized what was so strange.
Everything looked too new, too perfect… and there was not a single human being anywhere in sight.
His friend suddenly pulled over to stop alongside one of the buildings, and before Berry could say anything, he saw him shut off the engine. He then pulled out his phone, rolled down the window and began photographing the area, from the skies above to the surrounding streets and buildings. When Berry asked what was so interesting about what he saw, the friend showed him the first image he’d snapped.
What he first thought to be a digital glitch, or possibly motion blur due to shaking the camera, turned out to be something neither friend could explain… and it was just the first of many such unexplained images.
While the window was still down, they began to hear a distant sound.
Berry describes the sound as “like an air-raid siren… as if it were distorted by large buildings.” He compared it to similar echoes of tornado sirens he’d heard in Chicago, and he posted a recording of this as an example.
At this point, their curiosity gave way to fear, and the friend decided enough was enough. But when he turned the key in the ignition, they realized the car’s battery was dead.
Their instincts were to reach for their respective phones, either to call for assistance or try to locate a service station within walking distance… but the phones were behaving erratically. They were unable to obtain a signal or data, and operating systems seemed to be malfunctioning. Berry’s friend rebooted his phone, which seemed to bring it back to normal function… but there was still no reception.
That’s when, on a hunch, he took another look at the photos they’d been taking of the surrounding area… and that’s when he noticed some of the “glitches” he’d seen earlier looked vaguely like vague, indistinct figures lurking in the perimeter of the images… figures which, despite the fuzzy resolution, seemed vaguely human.
Working up the courage to start walking in search of help, the friends noticed that the air outside the car felt different… it was as if they were somehow walking through a thick, unseen substance that slowed their movements.
“It felt like the whole town was underwater,” Berry wrote. “Like we were swimming and we were held down in the water by large lead boots.”
As this oppressive atmosphere intensified, they quickly realized they had no choice but to abandon their vehicle altogether and try to escape the town on foot. They made their way back down the road on which they’d entered, and encountered the dead forest along the way. As they passed through the emaciated trees, the rotting stench returned in full force, making every step more agonizing, nauseating them to the point of nearly losing consciousness.
By the time they reached the WELCOME TO KNOWHERE sign, they were literally crawling… but when they reached the other side of the sign, the thick, smothering atmosphere and the horrific smell instantly vanished.
It was as if “we had come to the surface of a vast ocean,” Berry recalled. They were able to stand and move freely once again, though gasping for air and nearly overcome with muscle fatigue and lack of oxygen. Nevertheless, they found the energy to keep moving… and they ran as fast as they could, leaving their vehicle and all their possessions far behind, never once looking back, grateful to have escaped with their lives.
The images shown here, some containing the strange, inhuman figures he mentioned, are the only evidence Berry could provide — apart from his personal account of the nightmare journey through the town called Knowhere.