As we patrol the darkest corners of the web in search of macabre myths, viral legends, paranormal conspiracy theories and other chilling tales, we also attempt to verify the sources of these terrifying tropes — but ultimately, the decision as to what is real and what is fantasy remains entirely up to you. You can always dig deeper to find the truth… just remember who warned you first.
This entry can be traced back to 4chan in 2007, where the first account of a “Special Containment Procedure” surfaced; a post referencing “SCP-173” was made to a paranormal forum, describing a bizarre statue (see photo at the top) constructed from concrete to resemble a semi-human figure with red, green and black symbols on its “face.” The statue was under “special containment” due to its seemingly sentient and highly dangerous nature: apparently, it’s immobile when an individual is looking at it, but the instant eye contact is broken, the statue comes to life and attacks.
The viral explosion of SCP-173 spawned a massive fanbase, which produced numerous artistic renderings of the statue, as well as homemade figures and fan fiction; the creature has even made its way into the gaming world via Spore and Minecraft players. The SCP viral boom inspired multiple new entries, each describing a specific SCP subject – so many, in fact, that within a year the so-called SCP Foundation (motto: “Secure, Contain, Protect”) established its own wiki to catalog them.
A system of classification was established by the Foundation for each entry, labeling the containment subjects under three designations: “Safe” (fully contained); “Euclid” (not enough data to determine exact behavior); and “Keter” (extremely hazardous). Beneath these are sub-classes including “Neutralized” (destroyed or rendered harmless); “Explained” (definable by conventional science); and “Thaumiel” (rare anomalies used by the Foundation to counteract the effect of other subjects, especially Keters).
The more chilling SCP entries include the following…
SCP-072 (“The Foot of the Bed”): A sentient entity which can infiltrate the frame of any bed and remain invisible until a human falls asleep in that bed – at which time the entity will repeatedly tap on the sole of the person’s foot with a long, slender and razor-sharp talon. When the victim finally awakens from this, they find themselves in a state not unlike sleep paralysis, wide awake but unable to move. The being will then use its talons to slowly and painfully peel away chunks of the victim’s feet until nothing remains below the ankles.
SCP-087 (“The Stairwell”): An unlit staircase in an unidentified building which appears to be bottomless – or at least extends far below the foundation of the building itself. The stairwell is said to absorb the light from lower-powered light sources, making it impossible to see more than a few yards below, but even powerful lighting fails to illuminate beyond a certain point. Some audio recordings from the location contain faint, childlike cries, but all attempts to find the source of the sound have been unsuccessful. Photographs taken during explorations of the stairwell have revealed a pale, blank-eyed human face with vague features in the distance.
SCP-106 (“The Old Man”): This being appears as a rotting, decrepit human male, but with the predatory nature of a spider, and is reportedly capable of climbing walls and hanging from the ceiling to await its prey. It is not only highly dangerous, but very difficult to contain due to its ability to secrete a highly corrosive mucus which can burn through metal doors and walls and dissolve human flesh. It has reportedly abducted victims (it is said to favor children and young adults) to an alternate “pocket” dimension, where it possibly feeds on them.
SCP-122 (“No More Monsters”): An ordinary-looking nightlight, originally found in a children’s hospital. When plugged into a power source, the light can alter the sleep patterns of anyone within a certain radius. When unplugged, the object is capable of sending anyone sleeping near it into a comatose state – after which vague and shadowy figures begin to emerge from the darkest corners of the room. These figures then seek out new human victims, who then cause more figures to emerge, and the effect is spread exponentially.
SCP-455 (“The Cargo Ship”): A large, abandoned and rusted-out hulk of a ship, half-submerged off the southern coast of Chile. Explorations of the vessel revealed that the interior dimensions appear far larger than the exterior, and that the structure of the ship phases in and out of different physical states. Reports include cabins made entirely of human teeth, engine parts replaced with bones and tendons, and corridors which elongate or change direction. Explorers have recounted intense and disorienting hallucinations while aboard, and one rescue team went missing while in pursuit of a distant human scream.
SCP-604 (“The Cannibal’s Banquet”): A set of extremely ornate and elaborate table settings, including gold-trimmed serving dishes and crystal wine glasses, adorned with precious gems. According to the report, any food or drink placed on the dishes or in the glasses will be transformed into human flesh and blood. If a living creature is placed on one of the plates, it will transform into a living human body part, which then attempts to move under its own power. The dishes were reportedly taken from a village (exact location redacted) in which the locals participated in a cannibalistic religious ceremony.
SCP-610 (“The Flesh That Hates”): One of the most lethal “keters” identified by the Foundation, this organism was initially traced to a farming region in Siberia. It takes the form of a highly contagious skin disease, which begins as an isolated rash but develops into a full-body infection, covering the victim with oozing sores in a matter of hours. In all reported cases the infection results in the victim’s death… whereupon the infected tissue begins to grow and mutate, forming new appendages and growths. It will then spread beyond the host body, sending out tendrils like a fungus in search of a new host.
Other contributions to the site include “Foundation Tales,” comprised of personal journal entries by alleged SCP Foundation staff, most of which involve the catastrophic results of failed or incomplete containment procedures. Many of these tales take a surprisingly light-hearted tone, while others can turn grim and nightmarish.
SCP writings have become so globally popular (there are parallel SCP wikis in nearly ten different languages) that they have crossed over into other media – including the video game SCP: Containment Breach, a planned web series, and even a stage play.
As of this writing, the SCP Foundation wiki contains roughly 2500 entries.