Today’s topic should drive home a piece of advice you probably don’t need, but should hear anyhow: When talking to strangers on the web, it’s best to exercise the same caution you would in flesh-space… especially if you’re wandering into questionable territory.
For example: If you’re familiar with the popular chat site Omegle (or others like it), you know it’s essentially designed to connect random users for one-on-one chats, keeping both parties’ identities deliberately anonymous; the person on the other end is only identified as a “Stranger.”
Omegle also has a video chat option, if the user actually wants to be seen and heard… which, as you can imagine, has led to some extremely skeevy encounters, prompting the site to implement moderators:
One user — the source of today’s creepypasta — describes the site as a home for “freaks and perverts,” but after a recent encounter there, he now adds another category to that list.
His story came in the form of a journal update, which he was seemingly rushing to post before some unmentioned fate befell him. It’s the only account of this incident known to exist, and the only scant evidence to back up his horrific claims.
The unnamed user’s story begins during a visit to the home of his best friend, whom he names “Jed” [real name withheld]. Bored with searching randomly for weird stuff on the web, Jed told him about Omegle, and how it often led to some bizarre and hilarious conversations with nameless, faceless strangers… but he also mentioned that some of those chats turn extremely creepy.
Oddly enough, that’s exactly what happened when they logged on that day.
One conversation in particular was unnerving: Every response from “Stranger 1” was an inversion of whatever the user and his friend typed. For example, when they entered “Hello,” it responded with “Goodbye.”
This quickly grew tiresome, and the pair were prepared to leave the chat when they received the following entry:
Stranger 1: I like your poster. I saw them play once. Have you?
It took a few seconds for the comment to hit home… but finally Jed turned and motioned toward a poster on the wall directly behind them; it was a poster for his favorite band.
Jed also pointed out that they were not currently in video mode… so how did Stranger 1 know? Lucky guess? Had he hacked the site and accessed Jed’s webcam?
The only way to know was to ask Stranger 1 point blank.
You: How did you know about the poster?
The stranger did not reply. Growing uncomfortable, Jed suggested they jump off and try another conversation, and his friend agreed. But before they could disconnect, a reply finally came up…
Stranger 1: My room is H.O.T.
Again, they had no idea what that meant… but now Jed’s curiosity was engaged, and he decided to take the bait. He activated the chat’s video option, in the hope that they might see who the hell they were dealing with.
After a long wait for connection, they were greeted with the image of an unoccupied room… which had apparently been destroyed by a fire.
Now even Jed was getting nervous, and tried to disconnect… but after a burst of static, the video image returned, and they could not shut it off.
Also, there was one small change to the image shown onscreen — the door was open, revealing a long corridor, just as badly scorched and demolished as the room in the foreground.
Another attempt to disconnect failed, directing them yet again to the video image of the burned-out room and the hallway beyond. But this time, yet another detail had changed: they could see the vague outline of someone standing at the far end.
It looked like a human figure at first… but both Jed and his friend had a sinking feeling it might not be.
They puzzled over what “H.O.T.” meant (apart from the obvious), and exactly who — or what — they had seen in that hallway.
Another attempt to disconnect yielded the same result… except this time, the figure was standing closer to the camera.
Jed was now convinced he was being pranked by a hacker, and against his friend’s objections he continued testing the feed to see what would happen. As you can imagine, each attempt brought the figure closer to the camera, though the image remained obscured by shadow and too dark to make out.
Overcome with an uneasy feeling, Jed’s friend insisted that he stop; even if the threat was a mere prank, it was potentially dangerous. Who knew what the “Stranger” could do next?
Jed finally relented, and shut his browser window. “Satisfied?” he asked his friend, who was clearly rattled by the experience.
He soon put the matter behind him, but avoided calling or visiting Jed for about a week; if his friend was still trying to communicate with this stranger, he didn’t want to know about it.
But when he did finally text his friend, there was no reply. He later left a voicemail, but never got any acknowledgement. Emails and other DMs also went unanswered.
Finally, after nearly two weeks had passed, he drove to Jed’s apartment to confront him in person… and was horrified to discover a huge section of the building had been gutted by fire.
He then learned Jed had been declared missing, and that police had found no trace of human remains in the debris; all they knew at that time was that the fire had definitely originated in Jed’s apartment — though the exact cause remains unknown.
The user’s writings indicate he had undertaken his own investigation of a sort: he logged onto Omegle from his own computer, not even knowing where to begin… but at the same time, a nagging feeling in his gut told him what awaited him there. His final paragraphs seem to confirm those fears.
The site immediately took him to that same room… but this time the dark figure was gone, and instead he thought he could hear a distant, odd humming from the speaker. Listening closer, he could hear a faint voice chanting something. That’s when the following chat text appeared on the screen:
Stranger 1: Burnt is cold, burnt is hot
Stranger 1: Hell on Earth, as I like to call it
Stranger 1: Stupid boy, thinks he’s safe
Stranger 1: On the internet, of all places
Stranger 1: Stupid people, giving me a new hunting ground
Stranger 1: More prey, without a doubt
Stranger 1: Stupid humans, think they’re safe
He then realized two things: first, the faint and distant voice he heard was chanting the very same words that appeared on the screen; second, he realized the voice was not coming from his laptop speakers… but from the hallway outside his bedroom.
His own camera was apparently active during this incident, as the following video file was attached to the author’s accounts.
I can hear it now, affecting everything in my house. It has a weird effect on electricity. It can’t be far. Laughing. It knows which one of us is going to win. There’s no point fighting. At least I’ll know what happened to Jed…
There are no further entries.