When I was a kid I was really into the conspiracy scene. UFO’s, bigfoot, the Loch Nes monster I was into all of it. I had books on cryptozoology, and books on psychic phenomena and books about flying saucers that supposedly came up out of the ocean and I devoured it all like it was candy. Which now that I think about it, it kinda was; candy for the mind.
But now I have become a man, and I have put away my childish things. Not that I don’t believe in flying saucers and bigfoot anymore (also bigfoot in flying saucers, that one’s a biggie). I still reckon there could be stuff out in the universe we don’t understand, but my opinion toward it all is kinda, meh. I’ve come to accept that the world we see is pretty much the world we get. If there are aliens out there you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll end up being narcissistic, divisive, and have bad breath to boot.
But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some fragment of wonder left in my soul, some yearning for the idea that the world is Not As It Seems. Which is why when I stumbled upon the internet archives of the SCP Foundation I was hooked.
The SCP acronym stands for “Secure, Contain, and Protect”, and the site archives a long list of artifacts under the care of the SCP Foundation that pose various levels of danger to the world or are weird enough to keep for further study.
Of course the whole thing is pure fiction. But it is interesting fiction. The world of the SCP Foundation provides a framework for all kinds of creatures and anomalous objects to coexist carefully tended by a staff dedicated to keeping the world safe from the many monsters that lurk in their closets.
On top of that, because the SCP Foundation website is a wiki it serves as a tremendous outlet for writers in the real world. SCP entries can be rated by an “up” or “down” vote, and users comment on what parts of the entry worked for them and what parts need more work. Think of it as the world’s most focused writers group, everyone contributing individual threads of story that form together into a single terrifying tapestry.
Really though, there’s no way for my description alone to sell you on this. You have to see it for yourself. The SCP website is huge, but if you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of my favourites:
SCP-115 - Miniature Dump Truck
SCP-212 - The Improver
SCP-242 - Self “Cleaning” Pool
SCP-283 - A Rock That Falls Sideways
SCP-315 - The Recorded Man
SCP-354 - The Red Pool
SCP-426 - I am a Toaster
These are only a few examples, not even an exhaustive list of my favorites, but there are thousands of these things. If you’re a writer looking for inspiration or a reader who enjoys “weird” fiction then I highly recommend you check out the SCP Foundation website.
Only be careful. Because once you’ve entered the labyrinth you may not be able to find your way out.