Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t is a series that explores modern urban legends, bringing you a new tale each week.
There is a doorway in a building on the campus of an unnamed university. The door and its frame are made of reinforced steel, and it locks with an electro-release lock mechanism. At first glance, it appears to be nothing more than a janitorial closet. But the door will not open unless it is a certain number of electricity is applied while the door’s key is inserted and rotated counter-clockwise. Lest this opening procedure seem overly complicated, however, be assured that it is not. For if the door were easy to open, there is no telling how many countless individuals would have fallen prey to what lies behind it.
For behind it lies an anomaly known only as THE STAIRCASE.
The opened door reveals an unlit platform staircase. The stairs descend at a 38-degree angle for 13 steps, after which they arrive at a semicircular platform approximately 3 meters in diameter. The next set of 13 steps resumes leading from the platform as a 180-degree rotation from the initial set of steps. The structure of the stairwell is such that subjects may only see 1.5 flights from any given location. There are no windows or light fixtures. Lighting sources brought into the stairwell brighter than 74 watts have proven ineffective; it is believed that the stairwell absorbs excess light.
Subjects who have ventured into and returned from the stairwell report crying sounds roughly 200 meters below the initial platform. The crying appears to be that of a pleading child. Any attempts to follow and locate the source of the crying, however, have been unsuccessful; no matter how far a subject descends the staircase, the crying remains consistently at a sound of 200 meters below.
It is unknown whether the staircase has an endpoint.
Several expeditions have been sent into the staircase in order to determine the source of the crying. Equipment has varied from expedition to expedition.
Summary of expeditions:
Subject: Caucasian male, 43 years of age, average build and appearance. Psychological background is unremarkable.
One (1) 75-watt flood lamp with 24 hours of battery life
One (1) handheld camcorder with transmission stream linking subject with Control
One (1) audio headset linking subject with Control
Subject steps through doorway onto initial platform. Light from flood lamp illuminates only the first 9 steps. Subject is unable to see second platform. Subject shines flood lamp back out of door and into the building proper. The light reaches significantly further. Control instructs subject to continue down stairwell. Subject complies.
Subject descends 13 steps. Upon arrival at second platform, subject rotates 180 to descend down next set of steps. Subject pauses. Control requests reason for stopping. Subject replies, “You hear that? There’s a fucking kid down there. Sounds like one. Control requests for subject to describe sound. Subject replies, “It’s young. Either female or a very young boy. It’s crying and sobbing and saying…” Subject pauses. “Please…” Subject pauses. “Help…” Subject pauses. “Please.” Subject pauses. “Yeah, it keeps repeating that and crying.” Subject estimates crying is 200 meters down from current location. Control instructs subject to continue. Subject complies.
Subject descends 13 steps. Control picks up audio of crying child as described by subject. Control instructs subject to continue, with the instructions to stop if he notices any changes in the audio or environment.
Subject descends 3 steps. He stops. “Keep going?” he asks Control. Control confirms. Subject continues.
Subject descends 17 flights. Subject informs Control, “I’m not getting any fucking closer to the kid.” Audio data confirms that crying remains 200 meters below subject. Control instructs subject to continue.
Subject descends 28 flights. Subject is on 51st landing platform, approximately 200 meters below initial platform. 34 minutes have elapsed since subject’s initial descent. Volume of crying remains consistent. Subject informs Control, “I feel a little uneasy.” Control assures subject that it is natural to feel uneasy after spending a long time in a dark, unknown stairwell. Control instructs subject to continue. Subject hesitates, then complies.
Subject’s flood lamp illuminates a face at the bottom of the next flight. It appears human, though it lacks a mouth, nostrils, and pupils. Face is motionless, but makes direct eye contact with subject. Subject begins yelling. Control requests that subject describe what he is seeing. Subject complies: “It’s some sort of fucking person face thing and it’s fucking looking right at me fuck fuck fuck it’s looking right at me—” Control asks whether the face is moving. Subject states that it’s “just staring at [him]” and that “it’s creepy.” Control instructs subject to approach and further illuminate the entity. Subject resists.
Face moves rapidly towards subject.
Subject panics and rapidly ascends the staircase. He reaches the ground floor in 18 minutes. He collapses and passes out. The face does not appear to have followed him.
Distance traveled: 50 flights (650 steps).
Time elapsed: 52 minutes.
Notes: Footage confirms that number of flights and steps descending equal those ascending. Audio of crying remains at consistent volume until the last flight, after which it ceases. Medical analysis reveals subject’s collapse as result of fatigue caused by rapid ascension of stairs.