It’s creepy. It’s primal. It’s some strange combination of Creepypasta, “The Twilight Zone” and “The X-Files”, and it’s called The Skinner Foundation.
The strange new subreddit came to iHorror’s attention earlier this week, and it has consumed us.
Okay, it consumed me, anyway. I really can’t speak for anyone else.
It all began October 1, 2018 with an entry titled “A Word from Our Sponsor”. Clicking on the link opened a companion website whose homepage reads “Face Your Fears” and asks “What are YOU afraid of?”
As you begin to click and read the stories on either site–you’ll find the same stories on both–it stealthily begins to draw you into its web. Each entry is a phobia, you see, but these phobias may be more than just irrational fears.
What happens when those fears are exposed or when special agents offer treatment?
Well, take for instance a man who was imprisoned for burning down the house of a Latino family in order to drive them out of the country. He is diagnosed with Xenophobia and brought to a special treatment facility where he is told that he will have two hours of treatment per day.
The treatment involves being locked in a room with things that defy description. Things that crawl and claw and sting but have no reference in our reality. When he folds under the horrors that he is seeing, he’s allowed to rejoin his fellow humans and appreciate what they all have in common.
Morality tale? You bet.
Effective? Nightmarish would be a better word for what The Skinner Foundation has to offer.
Now as I said before, you can read the stories on either site, but I really do recommend reading them from Reddit.
It gives more order to what you’re reading but there’s also the benefit of reading memos sent back and forth between “Agents” about problem cases, patient reactions, etc. in the order that they were introduced.
Reading them in this way also allows you to more easily notice patterns that begin to emerge within the storytelling. And no, I won’t tell you what they are, either.
What would be fun about that?
These patterns, however, speak to the genius planning that had to have gone into this project. You see, every story is written by a different author…
I’m relieved at this point that my own phobia has not emerged in its pages…I don’t know if I could handle that.
Is your own included? Well, you’ll just have to read and find out…
The Skinner Foundation will continue through November 14, 2018.