It is amazing just how strange the Internet is, how much of a life of its own it has taken on. This is a vast wasteland of digital territory largely unwatched and unexplored, a wilderness unto itself. And just as with any wilderness there are bound to appear certain oddities, anomalies, and stories of the unexplained. Sifting through all of the vast stores of knowledge deposited here, there are certainly dark corners of the web that remain mysterious and steeped in creepy lore. I have written much on this topic here at Mysterious Universe recently, including here, and here, and here, but there is no end to the amount of bizarreness floating about out there in cyberspace. From haunted sites, to cursed cyberspaces, to just plain weirdness, the Internet has become a powerful venue for the paranormal and the unexplained.
One site that in recent years has accrued quite a dark reputation as a haunted place is one that is claimed to be inhabited by the ghost of a little girl named “Repleh Snatas.” According to the lore, she was born sometime in the 18th century and with her own birth she was already quite creepy, having been brought into the world after several alleged miscarriages, which had prompted the mother to supposedly darkly say of these lost children, “They had to die for her to live.” “Repleh” apparently was born with a very unusual birthmark on her face that was seen as the mark of the devil by others around her, and led to her ruthless bullying, to the point that she only ever went out to play at midnight, when most of the world around her was asleep and lost to their dreams or nightmares. Her father purportedly fully believed that his daughter was tainted by Satan, and kept her locked away in her room during the day, where he subjected her to hideous torture and abuse before finally going insane and flat-out murdering her, after which the mother, who had deeply loved her, committed suicide not long after. Both were then supposedly unceremoniously buried out in the remote woods by the father, who by this time was totally consumed by madness.
So far so creepy, but how does this gruesome story translate to the Internet age? Well, the story goes that a lightning storm knocked down a telephone pole situated over the graves, and shortly after that an unusual website began to appear online, always at midnight, which is the only time it can apparently be accessed. If one is to try to access the site at any other time, there will supposedly appear a simple box for you to type in your e-mail address and an audio message from a little girl asking you to come back at midnight “to play.” If you are brave enough to take her up on the invitation the site will be open and shows various strange images and numerous pictures of a little girl with a birthmark on her face, all bathed in flickering candlelight and overlaid with spooky noises.
There is some sort of mini game to play, comprised of following clues to click on pictures in order to move to the next level, but the main attraction is a box in which you are instructed to write the name of someone who has wronged you. After writing a name in the box, Repleh is then supposed to exact gruesome revenge on this person, and in return will haunt the dreams of the one who has typed in the name and drive them inexorably insane. Considering the horror movie vibe and the fact that “Repleh Snatas” is actually “Satan’s Helper” spelled backwards, this seem like it must certainly be just just a scary Internet urban legend and that the site is just a creepy hoax, yet there are plenty of people on various forums claiming that it is all real. You can check out the site here and decide for yourself. If you dare.
Also supposedly haunted and only accessible at midnight is a website called “blindmaiden.com,” which immediately boasts right there on the front page that it gives users the opportunity to experience what it calls “ultimate horror.” There are some rules to follow in order to get on the site, according to the lore. It is supposed to be totally inaccessible until midnight, on the night of a new moon, and on top of this one must have all of the lights of the house turned off. Once properly accessed, the site allegedly shows a series of twisted, grotesque imagery of children with horrific injuries such as missing eyes or limbs, and these pictures begin to fly by so fast as to almost blur together, followed by the appearance of two clickable icons labelled “Accept” and “Decline,” which are accompanied by a message which says:
This website will take you to a whole new level of horror.
A horror that will use all five of your senses.
You must be very careful not to click on anything
by accident. You will be faced with a real experience
of absolute horror.
Click the accept button to engage
actively in the experience.
If you are not already quite creeped out enough to exit the site altogether, and you actually click on one of these mysterious options several things can happen. Supposedly if you click on “Decline,” you will be simply given full access to a library of stomach-churning, gory images similar to the ones which greeted you upon first accessing the site. If you are feeling braver and press “Accept,” a shadowy figure supposedly appears and begins walking towards you, passing right through the monitor and into your room, after which you can see yourself on the screen with your back to yourself and the figure looming over you. Then there is a tap on your back, and turning around will show you “The Blind Maiden,” who will then kill you horrifically, take your eyes, and add pictures of your mutilated body to the archived library of images on the site. Again, this is almost certainly an urban legend, but it is often discussed on paranormal forums, with many people saying it is quite real.
Just as bizarre as these sites is an apparently haunted, cursed, or at the very least very bizarre game that lurks buried in the darkest corners of what is called the “deep web,” a realm of the Internet which dwells below the surface of what usual browsers and search engines typically have access to. It is often likened to the deep abysses of the ocean in comparison to the sunlit upper reaches of the surface, where most of the Internet traffic we are familiar with is located. The dark, abyssal recesses of the deep web cannot be accessed by any traditional means, requiring special passwords or tools to do so, and this mysterious realm hidden from the rest of the net has become known as a repository for a wide range of bizarreness and shady dealings, sort of the sinister underbelly of the web often seen as harboring all of the worst that the Internet has to offer.
Here in this morass of sinister weirdness buried deep down in the blackest reaches of the web is supposedly a curious game called “Sad Satan,” which can apparently only be downloaded and played by accessing a top secret site in the deep web. The game was allegedly uncovered by a YouTuber named Jamie, who runs a channel called “Obscure Horror Corner,” while digging around in the abyss of the deep web after receiving a tip from a viewer about a weird, obscure game they had found down there. After following some links and accessing a deep web site through the use of a special tool called the Tor network, Jamie claimed to have found the game in question and played through it.
The game is in a first person format and supposedly starts with an oppressively dark hallway, which the player walks through as footsteps echo about, towards a faint, flickering light in the distance. The player walks and walks, and not much seems to happen at all, making it seem that this is the extent of the game, but the monotony changes as the sounds of what seem like gasping begin to accompany the drone of footsteps. As the player slowly draws closer to the light, the sounds become more ominous, with panting, grumbling, and murmuring voices whispering something incomprehensible, and the gasping sounds becoming louder and more distorted and twisted, all of which gets more intense until the voices are eventually a crescendo of growling and snarling. Throughout all of this the only thing the player can do is trudge on, with no other choice or option to take. The hallway changes as well, morphing into what appears to be like a road, and also seems to become more decrepit and unstable. The walls morph as well, becoming blurry and indistinct, as a voice somberly chants some unknown phrase over and over again. If the player continues on through this madness they will eventually be treated to a strange image that flashes up on the screen for a few seconds and looks like this:
After that startling image, the hallway continues and the player continues walking, but now movement is sluggish and things become blurry, and the sounds become garbled and indistinct, almost as if the character on screen is drugged. Upon the ground there appears a trail of blood, and if the player follows this to its source they will apparently be greeted with a brief, flashing image of Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher, thrown up on the screen for a fraction of a second and disappearing so quickly that blink and you’ll miss it. Indeed the game apparently has many instances of showing flashing subliminal-style grotesque images of things such as bloody injuries or child pornography, which only are shown for a split-second, barely enough to even register at all. Continuing on will merely take the player through other versions of the same hallways, the only other scenery the occasional fleeting forms of what appear to be shadowy children in the murk, until reaching a dead end and that’s that. That’s the whole game, simply walking down various transforming hallways, and it all lasts a total of 11 minutes.
The game has apparently been played by others and is supposedly incredibly unsettling and creepy to play, with claims that among the sounds that can be heard are actual breathing noises in the ears of the actual players in their own room. There are also claims of dizziness, faintness, and panic attacks caused by playing it, curious since not really much happens in the game itself other than its strange ambiance. The game is also claimed to not always run, causes computers to slow down dramatically, and will sometimes entirely crash systems. Other versions of the game seem to have stealthy aggressors that track the player down, with complaints that these attacks will sometimes cause not only damage to the video game character in game, but negative health effects of the actual player. The original game downloaded by Jamie from "Obscure Horror Corner" was reported to have been erased when he found a disturbing file attached to it that would send up messages written in some sort of unintelligible gibberish every time he played the game, and spooked him so much that he deleted the whole thing, although he claims to have made a video of a walkthrough of the game. He would say of these mysterious messages:
They were genuinely gibberish text. It didn’t seem to be in any language, just symbols and numbers really. I did notice 666 a few times, which fits I guess, considering the title of the game.
With no known working copy of the game remaining and its location on the deep web apparently mysteriously and spontaneously vanishing, it is hard to know what we are dealing with here, or indeed if the actual game really ever existed at all. It has been speculated to have been everything from an abandoned attempt to make a video game, to a hoax, to an actual cursed or demon possessed game, but no one knows as there don’t seem to be any playable versions currently available. One popular theory is that the administrator of "Obscure Horror Corner" fabricated the whole thing to simply attract more viewers and subscribers. It is all at the very least very mysterious, and with the whole enigmatic origin story of the game appearing in the mysterious deep web it is not surprising that strange rumors would be drawn about it, and it has become highly discussed on various message boards and forums, with new versions occasionally supposedly released. The walk-through of the alleged original game can be found online, and there is a great, more in-depth article by Patricia Hernandez at Kotaku on the alleged game with more screenshots here.
A lot of the creepier tales of cursed Internet sites have to do with those that feature strange images or videos, which I have actually covered here at Mysterious Universe recently, but of which there are many. One is actually a Twitter account mentioned quite a bit recently, called “Cursed Images,” which in 2016 began suddenly anonymously posting a variety of twisted images to Twitter without any comment or explanation except to say “all these images are cursed.” Far from chasing the people away, Cursed Images has managed to gain hundreds of thousands of followers of those with a curiosity for the macabre. The images presented run the gamut from more or less innocuous to the truly disturbing, with one article in The New Yorker called “The Creepiest Pictures on the Internet,” by Jia Tolentino, giving a pretty good run down of what to expect, saying:
An outstretched foot with lit cigarettes tucked between each toe was “cursed image 5927.” A man sitting on a pink couch with two enormous poodles, all three of them wearing birthday hats, was “cursed image 67.” Around three hundred photos have followed since then, and the cursed images have become increasingly unnerving: a gun pointed at a stuffed Barney (7447); lurid purple dish soap dripping over a waffle, like syrup (99); a woman playing the violin while doctors perform surgery on the back of her head (672); a child in a snowsuit with its head stuck in the barrel of a cannon (9972); an upturned beach pail over a faceless body, its head streaming with sand that falls like hair (827263). Among the most recent images are a man in a suit walking down a green path into the darkness, lit by a spotty flash (568); a person in a homemade-looking cat costume pushing another homemade cat in a wheelchair (27443); a series of dolls and shoes nailed to a tree trunk (372); and a crowd of people on aquamarine bleacher seating, crammed perfectly above a diagonal line of shade (340). In Cursed Image 37828, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visits Corpus, a walk-through exhibition on the human body.
And on and on its goes, thousands upon thousands of these pictures, all plucked from various sources and totally anonymous, without any sort of captions to put them into context. One thing common to all of them is that no matter how innocent some may seem, they always manage to provoke some primal sense of unease, discomfort, and even downright revulsion, even if it is not always immediately apparent as to why they should do this. They uncannily pluck at some strings of fear within us, and have quite a disorienting and jarring effect, which is probably what keeps droves of people coming back for more. There have been whispers that the poster of these images is a malevolent presence, and that some of them may be a code of some sort or even actually cursed, and the one behind the account has been theorized to be everything from a prankster to the Devil himself. It is hard to tell since no one really knows who the administrator is, although the mysterious individual has spoken out before, once telling The New Yorker magazine through e-mail:
Some people have stated I’m a bot. Others think I’m a creep with too much time on their hands. But it’s just like the lack of context for the images. Whoever you think I am, that’s what I am.
Joining the ranks of places on the Internet with fear-inducing imagery is one allegedly called “Normal Porn for Normal People.” The site was apparently originally found not through a search engine or link, but rather through an anonymous e-mail that said, “Hi there, found this site is very nice thought u might like normalpornfornormalpeople.com pass it on, for the good of mankind.” The original recipient of this mail allowed curiosity to come to the fore, and clicked on the link, where he was met with what he described as a not particularly exciting webpage, describing it thus:
It was a very average, very generic looking site. It gave the impression that the creators just BARELY gave a shit about making it look professional. The author seemed to have a very tenuous grasp on English, and on the front page was a long, boring, and incoherent rant that I don't remember or have saved.
The main tagline of the site was purportedly “Normal Porn for Normal People, A Website Dedicated To The Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality,” and it was all very odd indeed. Scrolling through the page showed that it had no apparent links, so it was difficult to ascertain just how one was meant to access all of this “normal porn.” As the user was about to leave the page, it was realized that every single word was in actuality a long series of hyperlinks, and pushing on these brought up a blank white page containing a long list of links. Clicking on the various links would bring the user to different pages with completely different urls, and the original poster of this account would explain what he encountered through doing so thus:
I was just about to say "Fuck this" when I clicked on the third link, and a video download came up. It was called "peanut.avi". It was a thirty-minute video of a man, a woman and a dog in a kitchen. The woman would make a peanut butter sandwich, and the man would set it down for the dog to eat. This was all that happened, for thirty minutes. It was obvious that the cameraman had to stop filming and wait until the dog was ready to eat again, and the dog seemed rather sick by the end of it. I know what you're thinking: "What the hell does that have to do with porn?" I have no clue. I've seen a little over two dozen videos from this site, and the majority had no sexual activity at all. After watching peanut.avi, I went on a certain image board I frequent to play online show and tell, like I always do with weird shit like this. But someone had already made a thread about it, some guy who had received the same chain letter I did. The image board thread got lots of people with nothing better to do to dig through the site, and that's how I saw other videos.
Most of those two dozen videos were very uneventful, and consisted of people talking to the cameraman in a room with nothing in it but a desk and a few chairs. I mean literally nothing on the walls, or in terms of furniture. The whole room had a very cold, sterile feel to it. The conversations were just idle banter about previous jobs or embarrassing childhood moments. I kept expecting some kind of discussion about what the people were filming or what the site was about, but of course, nothing. You would never know these videos had anything to do with porn if you saw it out of context. However, the other videos that actually did feature content which I suppose could be called "sexual" is where things got weird.”
Some of these other videos were allegedly every bit as weird, deeply odd, and unsettling as “peanut.avi.” One video supposedly shows a repairman fixing a washing machine and then proceeding to copiously lick the top of the machine for a full 7 minutes. Another shows an obese mime awkwardly performing his routine before breaking down into sobbing after breaking several of his props due to his massive weight. In one called “dianna.avi,” a woman talks about playing the violin as within a mirror in the background can be seen a man in a chicken suit feverishly masturbating. Another shows an elderly woman making out with a mannequin, another sensitively called “stumps.avi” shows a man with no legs enthusiastically trying to breakdance, with someone off camera ruthlessly egging him on even when he begs to be allowed to rest, while another still shows this same man walking around on his hands while wearing a mask as the woman from “dianna.avi” masturbates on a bed and an animal of some sort, possibly a chimpanzee, scurries by in the hallway in the background.
The cream of the crop as far as really weird, creepy stuff goes is supposedly a video which shows a woman tied down to a mattress in a room, with tape over her mouth. A man dressed in dark clothes opens the door to the room to let in a chimpanzee that appears to has been shaved and malnourished, possibly the same one seen fleetingly in another of the videos. There are supposedly scars and cuts on its body suggesting that it has been quite badly beaten and abused. When the mistreated chimp enters the room, the black-suited figure closes the door and the chimpanzee proceeds to go into a rage and begin mauling and mutilating the helpless woman on the bed in a scene of senseless gore. The assault is claimed to go on for 7 minutes in the video, after which the woman dies and the chimp eats her flesh for another 4 before the video cuts out. This particular video apparently caused an uproar, with this initial poster saying:
The thread exploded with activity after this video was uncovered, and people discussed it long into the night. When I came back to the image board the next day I found that the thread was deleted. I tried to start another one, and they banned me. I tried e-mailing the guy who sent me the chain letter with the site's url, sent him five messages and never got a response. I have tried to discuss this website on various places, and I got banned frequently.
It is hard to say if any of these videos really ever existed, and the only evidence of the site at all are some screenshots purportedly taken of it, but some of the clips are said to still be lurking out on the Internet on various torrents. The videos are said to be absolutely hypnotic, pulling the viewer in even as they instill revulsion, and it is also said that copies or uploads of these torrents will eventually mysterious delete themselves on their own. As of now it is unclear who ran this site, where the videos came from, what they mean, or indeed if it ever even existed in any form at all, and it has become another piece of spooky internet lore.
Are these just the result of creepy stories passing about the Internet like wildfire? Although this seems like the creation of urban legends via the power of the worldwide web, is there any reality behind any of this? There are indeed some sick and twisted corners of the Internet, and at times it feels almost like a lawless wasteland full of all sorts of trash and nefarious dealings, but is there anything truly haunted or cursed here, or is this just more examples of the grotesqueries of mankind hidden down in this new digital domain? Time may tell, but for now it appears that the Internet has more than its fair share of creepy, even terrifying stories to go around.