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A Tour of the SCP Foundation: Where the Internet’s Monsters Live

Come on in! Don’t mind the Plague Doctor, he won’t bite.

The SCP logo. Credit: Far2/ SCP Wiki / andreiluc88/ Shutterstock

The SCP foundation is a top-secret, international organization that captures paranormal creatures operating right under our noses. It has detailed files on containment procedures and records spanning years, with descriptions of paranormal entities that defy scientific explanation. Vivid, masterfully constructed tales of apocalyptic scenarios and ancient gods, the corruption of those in power, and dimension-hopping are all kept from the public’s prying eyes.

Except this foundation doesn’t exist. It is an elaborate collaborative project spanning years with complicated lore and a loyal fanbase. The official wiki contains over 7000 entries, and its sister site has a further 4000. Let me introduce you to the bizarre world of the SCP foundation.

What Is It, and How Did It Start?

The SCP foundation is a fictional organization that captures and contains entities known as ‘anomolies’. It originated from a post to the “paranormal” thread on 4chan, with an anonymous user creating an entry about a creature called SCP-173, a statue-like being that kills victims by snapping their necks. The entry, based on a sculpture by Izumo Kato, differed from the other stories on the thread. Instead of cliched jump scares, a predictable plot, and an excessive writing style, this story’s tone was more like a scientific report. There were procedures to contain the creature, references to a place called Site 19, and a rather short description of the subject’s behaviour.

From this humble post, the SCP foundation was born. The wiki developed the idea of ‘containment procedures’, even coming up with a classification system. Entries continued to use an academic tone, with some files being redacted due to ‘insufficient clearance level’ for added realism. The accompanying tales of the SCP’s employees and anomalies’ lives range from tragic to heartwarming, with a consistent depth and high-quality writing style.

Why Do People Like This Stuff?

The internet adores everything to do with horror, so the appeal of the SCP universe is hardly surprising. The wealth of SCP-inspired Youtube videos, games, and merch widens its appeal and accessibility for those not interested in reading. For those who are, the interconnected stories and recurring explorations of morality, corruption, and modernity make for a rich literary experience. SCP-999, ‘The Tickle Monster’, is as cute and harmless as its name suggests. However, the ominous Plague Doctor (SCP-049) is an eerily calm bird/human hybrid intent on ‘curing’ humanity through gruesome experimentation. The range of SCPs and interconnected stories have bred a complex but fascinating lore, with different variations and parallel universes.

Writer S.D Locke has been active in the community for nearly 11 years and is the creator of the popular SCP-001 proposal ‘When Day Breaks’. On their participation in the community, they said:

“I found out about the site back in 2011-12 and began reading voraciously, falling in love with the universe. In 2016, shortly after reading Dr Clef’s incredible GOC ‘Sequence’ series, I was inspired to finally join. The thought of being able to create something and have an audience in this weird little niche corner of the internet was a strong pull.”

S.D Locke

People like S.D Locke form the backbone of the community. There is often no profit incentive for those who contribute, just a love of all things weird. The fanbase consists of deeply talented individuals using their skills to entertain others with no motive other than enjoyment.

The SCP foundation is a prime example of collaboration, creativity, and dedication. The painstaking commitment and attention to detail create such realism that maybe this is a cover-up. Maybe the SCP foundation wants you to think they’re made up.

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English literature student (derogatory) and critic (in my delusions), prone to bouts of hysteria and silliness. When I'm not being silly online, I like reading, sewing, and making daisy chains.

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