The 13th Floor

A Closer Look at the Nightmarish Legend of “Suicide Mouse”

Today we’re revisiting a strange topic I originally addressed in my very first creepypasta article, “The Ten Creepiest Creepypastas (That Aren’t Slender Man).” In that piece, I briefly mentioned the alleged existence of “suicide videos” depicting famous cartoon characters (for example, Squidward from SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS) in extremely frightening and surreal scenarios, and sometimes combined with horrific footage of murder, torture or suicide.

Among these notorious legends is the claim that a brief, looped excerpt from a 1930s Disney short, showing Mickey Mouse walking down a city street, has been proven to have dangerous mind-altering properties in its original incarnation.

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Under the filename suicidemouse.avi, the clip was reportedly uploaded to 4chan in 2009, and soon shared across a variety of social media. Oddly, there was nothing particularly disturbing about the excerpt, only that it had an ominous feel to it — due in no small part to the dissonant, twanging score (which sounds like a detuned guitar) and a despondent look on Mickey’s face as he shambled along — and it finally fades to black after roughly three minutes. But those who shared it were puzzled by its seemingly nonsensical content, and wondered if there was more to it.

Finally, a new revelation surfaced claiming the full cartoon — of which we’d only seen one-third — was extremely disturbing, allegedly causing feelings of extreme panic, disorientation, and even memory loss in some viewers.

The new report, posted by a user known only as “TR,” claimed that the original Mickey short had been viewed by none other than film critic Leonard Maltin, who was considering including it in a remastered collection of vintage Disney cartoons which he was curating for a “Walt Disney Treasures” DVD set.

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Maltin reportedly requested a digitized version of the full reel, which clocked in at around nine minutes and four seconds in length. When he screened the file, he was allegedly horrified to discover a series of increasingly strange and frightening anomalies.

According to an anonymous source at Disney who worked with Maltin on the DVD collection, the reel begins the same way, and does fade to black at around the three-minute mark… it eventually fades back to the same footage of Mickey walking, with the same morose expression, but with no soundtrack.

That’s when things begin to change.

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When the sound returns, it begins with a rhythmic tapping, then what the source describes as “a murmur… It wasn’t a language, but more like a gurgled cry.” As the volume and intensity of the murmur increases gradually, the background begins to shift in surreal and irrational ways, bending and twisting into a nightmare landscape… and then Mickey’s expression begins to morph into an obscene sneer. By the seventh minute, the “gurgled cry” becomes an anguished scream.

All this time, Mickey’s face continues to warp into a rictus of horror, his eyes and mouth enlarging, while buildings around him began to crumble, collapse and burn.

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By the eighth minute Mickey is running frantically, his face twisted into a horrific visage, while the screaming reaches a painful pitch, and Maltin — clearly shaken by what he’d witnessed — could watch no more.

According to TR, one of Maltin’s assistants was able to finish screening the file, which increased its pace for nearly another minute before Mickey suddenly collapses to the ground, apparently dead, and a large syringe of some kind can be seen flying from his grasp. This is followed by what some claim is a superimposed image of a strange, wild-eyed man, while others describe a large, winged, demonic figure — similar to that depicted in the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence of Disney’s FANTASIA.

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The reel then cuts to the large, smiling Mickey logo typically shown at the beginning and end of Disney’s vintage one-reel cartoons… but while no other witnesses claim to have seen the final 30 seconds, other members of Maltin’s staff stated (to the same anonymous source) that the lone assistant who viewed those last frames emerged from their office in a highly agitated and disoriented state.

These witnesses also recall that assistant muttered the following cryptic phrase seven times in succession:

“Real suffering is not known.”

This person reportedly killed themselves shortly afterward.

The source managed to confront Maltin about what appeared onscreen in those final 30 seconds, and says Maltin admitted he glimpsed a line of text at the bottom of the screen printed in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

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The text roughly translates as “The sights of hell bring its viewers back in.”

The original suicidemouse.avi has been destroyed or otherwise buried — possibly by Disney or other concerned parties — and while many users have posted what they claim to be the original file, most or all are believed to be fabrications, such as this widely-seen version posted by popular YouTuber Gorix:

While it’s nearly impossible to prove whether the original film reel ever truly existed, TR insists that not only is suicidemouse.avi genuine, but sternly warns curious seekers to avoid any file bearing this name at all costs.

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“I’ve yet to find a copy of this,” TR concludes, “but it is out there… I know it.”

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