Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t is a series that explores modern urban legends, bringing you a new tale each week.
It is unremarkable in appearance. Discovered in an abandoned industrial complex in the UK, it is 2 meters in height and constructed from slightly rusted steel. It measures 1.2 meters wide by 1.2 meters deep, and it has only one door which must be kept closed and locked at all times. The door opens inward; the lock, affixed to the outside of the door, consists of a slide-bolt, a hasp, and a padlock. The key to this padlock must be kept under guard at the adjacent security station by three personnel with Level 3 security clearance. The cabinet’s exterior features some corrosion and scratching, indicating its age. There are no other distinctive or identifying marks.
However, upon being unlocked and opened, THE CABINET reveals itself to be more than it appears. If the cabinet is entered, the person will encounter a hallway constructed of the same rusted steel as the cabinet itself. The hallway stretches on for miles, leading to a labyrinth composed of other rusted steel passages lit occasionally by light bulbs fastened to the wall in wire cages. The bulbs are an unreliable source of illumination, as they are often broken or burnt out. The labyrinth is impossible to measure; each time the door is opened, it opens into an entirely different section of the maze. Attempts to retrieve persons contained within the maze in the event of the closing and reopening of the door have been unsuccessful. However, as long as the door remains open and the person entering the maze can remember or otherwise track their way back, the maze can be entered and exited safely. GPS devices do not work within the maze, and remote-controlled devices sent into it cease to function after traveling 20 meters.
Several expeditions have been sent into the cabinet in an attempt to map its interior. The standard equipment for each expedition is as follows:
- 1 flashlight with a 3-hour lifespan with additional power sources providing up to 6 additional hours
- 1 headset microphone linked to Control
- 1 shoulder-mounted video unit for wireless transmission
- 2 0.5 L bottles of water
- 2 high-calorie energy bars
- 8 sticks luminous marker chalk
Summary of select expeditions:
Subject: Male, average physique. Background shows history of aggravated assault and burglary.
Subject is equipped with standard expedition package. Camera is activated and subject enters the cabinet. The door is held open by a 3kg weight placed inside the doorway, with technicians on hand to remove the weight and close the door if required.
Camera shows a short metal hallway extending for approximately 5 meters before turning a corner. Control directs subject through maze uneventfully for approximately 47 meters, marking the walls with the luminous chalk to document the path that has been traveled. After 47 meters, Control notes that video quality has begun to degrade; monitors now show interference. Control does not inform subject of degradation of video. After traveling a further 16 meters, subject asks Control if they heard anything. Control responds in the negative. Subject replies that he can hear someone banging on the wall and shouting, though he also remarks that the noise appears to be coming from a significant distance away. Subject tells Control that the person sounds “fucking scared.” Control boosts audio gain and discerns noises comparable to those described by subject. Subject reluctant follows Control’s order to travel towards the sound. After 14 meters, video interference increases and signs of audio interference are detected. The floor now appears to slope downward; after 27 meters, the floor levels out, a which point subject stops, crouches, and swears. Control asks why subject has stopped. Subject does not respond, though intensified breathing indicates psychological distress. Control asks again why subject has stopped. Subject replies that he heard a scream, after which the banging and shouting stopped. Control instructs subject to move forward; subject becomes severely agitated and requests to be allowed to leave. Control again instructs subject to move forward. Subject argues for several minutes, then obeys. Subject turns right at a T-junction and follows the tunnel until the dead-ends after 6 meters. Control instructs subject to return to T-junction and follow the left fork. Subject complies. Left fork tunnel dead-ends after 4 meters. Control then recalls subject. Subject retraces path, following the luminous chalk markers; at a junction, subject stops and again asks Control if they heard a noise. Control confirms, but requests that subject describe the noise. Subject describes noise as wind. Subject’s camera then catches a drift of what appear to be dead leaves blowing from an unexplored tunnel. Subject notes that wind smells stale. Control instructs subject to collect several leaves, then to proceed down the new tunnel to locate their source. Subject reluctantly complies. As subject approaches tunnel entrance, a loud roar is heard, similar to a bear or other large animal. Subject panics and runs towards exit, ignoring Control’s instructions to investigate the sound. Subject exits cabinet, the expedition is aborted, and the door is closed and bolted.
Distance traveled: 114 meters.
Materials recovered: 12 leaves.
Analysis: 3 Oak leaves, 4 Ash, 2 Rowan, 3 Maple. Leaves are dry and crumbling, indicating extreme age.