In the thick of Horror Month, there are few better internet niches to discuss than The SCP Foundation. This cryptid-focused, haunted objects mega-wiki is the perfect place to read and share stories about supernatural monsters phenomena deep into the night. The SCP Foundation is so expansive and beloved across the internet that it spawned several games, from SCP: Containment Breach to Secret Files. The SCP world is the setting for 16 different video games, as well as a handful of titles inspired by this collective internet story. This includes Control, a AAA game about cryptid objects and the foundation of (mostly) regular people that have to contain them.
If you’ve never heard of this internet phenomenon, though, you’re probably wondering: what is The SCP Foundation? Or, what even is an SCP?
Welcome to The Foundation
The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization that works to find supernatural objects in need of containment. These oftentimes seemingly normal objects create mass hallucinations, violence, and chaos. The SCP Foundation started as an online wiki for these imagined cryptid-like objects, but has expanded into a collective of thousands of files, stories, and games all about this one core concept: there are terrifying, unexplainable things out there, and the SCP Foundation is doing a questionable job keeping any of them contained.
Now to the objects themselves. SCP stands for Secure, Contain, Protect — the Foundation’s exact intentions whenever they encounter one of these frightening objects. From scraps of paper to entire building complexes, an SCP can be anything. Some are relatively harmless (Safe) or deactivated (Neutralized). On the other hand, many other SCPs are continual threats (Euclid, Keter) or actual Armageddon events (Appolyon).
Overall, The SCP Foundation exists as a nebulous concept of a world in constant threat of these anomalous objects. It has captivated the minds of horror lovers across the internet. One of the best parts? Anyone can contribute. The SCP Foundation site doesn’t have laws about making some sort of grand canon. They simply encourage people to engage with these objects and stories to create a more creative and fascinating site — a truly astounding example of creative collaboration.
The joy of SCP
I was introduced to the SCP megaverse through my friends. We were all a bunch of cheap college kids who loved to play games, but loved a good way to protect our wallets even more — gaming isn’t the cheapest hobby, after all. One particular night, one of our friends already obsessed with The SCP Foundation recommended SCP: Secret Laboratory.
As unlucky as one could be, my first game I ended up a Scientist. If you don’t know Secret Laboratory, there are five roles: Chaos Insurgency, MTF(Mobile Task Force)/Guard, Class-D, Scientist, and the SCP itself. The Scientists and the Class-D (AKA the prisoners they run experiments on) all spawn in the basement. And in the early minutes of the game, the Class-D — we often affectionately call them “D-Boys” — often bully the scientists. If the guards don’t find and help the scientists quickly, they tend to end up dead at the D-Boys’ hands. It’s a whole thing.
But I was even luckier in that game, because I didn’t find a D-Boy to bully me. Instead, I found the infamous SCP-173 (AKA Peanut). For people in the know, that’s the horrible Peanut, an amorphous peanut-shell-shaped SCP made of rebar and blood that can move at lightning speeds. The only thing that stops him is staring at him, but even then you can only hold him still for a few seconds. Then he’ll lunge forward and try to snap your neck. I wasn’t well-versed in Peanut-dodging tactics yet, so I stopped him once, screamed through my in-game mic and tried to plead for my life. But my friend in the Peanut suit cackled, rushed forward, and snapped my spine like a twig before gleefully running off and murdering all the D-Boys.
Safe to say, I was hooked. We played for hours that night. And we still regularly play every few months whenever we get a big enough group to enjoy the wonderful horrors of things like Larry and his pocket dimension (SCP-106), improbable alliances, and making the whole base go nuclear.
If you’re looking for more Indie Horror: Slay the Princess First Impressions: A Gripping Horror Story
Dive into The SCP Foundation
If you want recommendations on where to start diving into this fascinating world, I’d recommend beginning one of two ways: with either the game Control or The SCP Foundation site itself.
Although Control is only inspired by the SCP Foundation, it gives a pretty great, succinct, and well-contained (pun intended) way of dipping your toes into this world of supernatural objects. The game has dozens of mini-SCP entries and fascinatingly terrible objects to find. Just be careful to keep an eye on the fridge while you play.
Meanwhile, the SCP Foundation site has guides for beginners to help you understand how the site and its stories work, and from there has as much information and creative narratives to indulge your curious mind. If you’ve felt dissatisfied with other forums like r/nosleep, look no further. The SCP Foundation will become your new favorite source of online horror. And if you prefer the gamer end of horror, you now have a wide variety of interactive experiences to play now, from narrative stories to fun co-op multiplayer. Taunt your friends and hunt them down as the Plague Doctor (SCP-049) or follow Annie through her terrible journey in SCP Foundation halls.
A Terrific community
The SCP Foundation site, video games, and the narrative world has cultivated so much joy across the internet. Despite beginning in 2007 — a mere 16 years ago — The SCP Foundation has evolved into something horrifically grand. Something that greatly influences modern video games and internet horror. It’s brought together a diverse community of writers, artists, developers, and creators, each and every one of them in love with these indescribable monstrous objects and their stories.
In a funny way, The SCP Foundation site itself is like an SCP: a seemingly mundane piece of the internet, but its power and influence grows larger each day. Who knows what kind of wonderful and terrible thing it might become in the future?