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In the late summer of 1965, two unknown and unidentifiable bodies were found washed up on a beach just north of Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Located approximately ten metres from the low tide point, it was assumed that they were washed in by longshore drift. Both had suffered brutal injuries; one of the two individuals had had its skull caved in by what appeared to be a sledgehammer, although forensics were apparently extremely skittish on revealing the exact cause of the horrific injuries. Neither's gender could be identified due to the injuries, as it appeared all sex organs including gender specific glands had been removed, along with huge sections of the individuals' waist and genital areas.
For four days after the sudden appearance of the two bodies, the number of suicides in Wisconsin quadrupled, rising from just under fifty, to near two hundred, peaking on the fourth day. However, on the fifth day the bodies went missing from Green Bay forensics lab and, when police pursued leads, they tracked one of the bodies to a farm fifteen miles south of Green Bay itself. The farm had been abandoned, apparently for months, with part of the farmhouse partially collapsed. Within the rubble, they found the body, which was now charred. It appeared as if whoever had taken it had attempted to cremate the corpse. The second body was unable to be located, even after extensive excavation of the site. The body had clearly not been buried.
An official report was made by the Green Bay Police Department (GBPD) stating:
"...the initial search was unsuccessful at locating the secondary body, although traces of a similar DNA have been found scattered around the edge of the farmyard. Although unconfirmed at present, it is suspected that the individual responsible for stealing the primary body and attempting to cremate it was more successful with the body of the secondary individual.
As of 28th September 1965, no new leads have been found. Case is declared still open, but task force has been reduced due to shortage of officers."
The case was only manned by four officers, whose official names have remained secret for security reasons. The most senior of the four officers was only referred to in documents as "Charlie Grey". The case was long overlooked by other officers and "Charlie Grey" became a mocking '70s term in the Wisconsin Police Department for a layabout officer, or one who simply acted as if he was working.
Then, on 11th May 1986, when the three remaining officers arrived at the Police Department, they were greeted by a single black tape lying on the front desk. Attached to the top was a white label entitled "Falsus_Immortalis_Vapulis_Eximo". The tape was put through an X-Ray machine to ensure it was not a bomb, and it passed the test. The three officers watched the video, but realized it was mostly static. They were forced to endure the static for five hours, until after five high-pitched bleeps, a video violently cut in. It was grainy, in grey scale and the person holding the camera was consistently causing it to shake, making analysis of the video difficult. However, it was clear that a person, assumed to be a woman from the screams, had been hogtied, with a terrifying mask placed over her face. She was lying on her stomach upon a steel floor surrounded by figures in black. The individual holding the camera held it in a way that only showed their legs and feet. The police watched in horror as one of the figures knelt next to the woman, his face still concealed, and removed a length of barbed wire from his overcoat. He proceeded to wrap to vicious coil around the woman's neck, accompanied by horrific wails of agony from the woman. The figure turned his head as if to look at the camera, but he stopped just before his face could be seen. He raised a splayed hand to his face. Just as suddenly as it had begun, the video cut out, leaving the officers stunned and staring at a void-like screen of black. The police were baffled, unsure as to the video's origin. They archived the tape into storage, but with no leads the tape followed the same path as the Green Bay Bodies Incident.
It was to be three years later that the next tape arrived. This time labelled "Famulus_Ostendo_Umbra_Rex". This time, only four hours of the tape were static and only four bleeps were heard before once again, the video suddenly appeared. This time, the woman was more clearly visible, as she was tied in a straight jacket, once again wearing the terrifying mask. A figure approached her and she visibly recoiled from him, but she was clearly unable to go far. The figure was clad in the same attire as the individual from the first tape, but this time removed a knife from his overcoat and slowly drew it across the woman's right arm. A muffled scream could be heard before the video cut to black, casting the office into silence. Since the arrival of the first tape, two of the officers had been replaced, with only "Charlie Grey" remaining of the original four officers. He sensed a pattern and noted that the first letters spelled two words: "F_I_V_E" and "F_O_U_R". Knowing this, it was obvious that three more tapes were to come. Dread filled all three present, knowing that they were barely down the rabbit hole yet.
Tapes "T_H_R_E_E" and "T_W_O" are clouded in mystery, but the first two tapes were translated to discover the English phrases "False Immortal beaten to free" and "Servant show the Shadow King". The officers were now sure that a strange cult was responsible for the tapes and sent out reports to other Wisconsin police departments to investigate any "cult-like" activities. It was unknown whether or not the tapes were genuine, or just a hoax, but they appeared to show horrific cult rituals and so were followed for good reason.
The final tape, however, has become a legend in the GBPD. Sometime in 1990, police received the final tape. Simply labelled "The Twilight Tango", this tape bore no static and opened upon the single frame shown below.
The video suddenly sparked into life, and the figure crawled towards the camera, with the cameraman moving backwards slowly. Two figures were visible in the background. As the video progressed, the camera slowly panned up, showing the two figures to be bearing horrific injuries. One of their heads had been caved in by what appeared to be a blunt weapon, such as a sledgehammer. The other was completely covered with ash and burns. The figure in the mask suddenly stopped and stared blankly up at the space behind the cameraman. The camera panned round to show two people sitting at desks watching a video upon a computer screen.
The first officer said "Right, this is creepy. I'm gonna get Richard, show him this. He's into that kinda..." He stopped mid-sentence as he realized that his voice seemed odd. As if two people were speaking. He turned round and his colleague screamed as he saw the man in the video turn in tandem. The video was live.
The camera panned back to the figure who placed a finger to her lips and reached out. The officers pulled out their guns and fired behind them, only to see nothing. No figures were standing behind them. They turned back to see that the video was now just static.
Officers rushed into the room and ordered to see the tape. But when they played it back, it was just static. Investigating the other tapes, they ascertained that all the tapes were now just ten hours of static. The entire office was in uproar, and many threatened to quit. Amidst the chaos, the first officer slipped off to his apartment. After eating dinner, he slipped to bed.
He was awoken during the twilight hours, with sweat clinging to his body. Hearing an ominous creaking from downstairs he pulled out his firearm and flashlight from the bedside table and conducted a steady and thorough investigation of his apartment. All the rooms checked out, with no evidence of anyone or thing capable of making the noise. Upon returning to his bedroom, however, he discovered a tape upon the bed. After everything he had gone through, he desperately wanted to throw the VHS away, but curiosity compelled him to delve deeper down the rabbit hole. He settled himself down upon his sofa, gripping tightly onto his handgun and he began to watch the tape. The tape started with a single frame with the letters Z.E.R.O in white blocky text. What followed was simply dead air, static silence. A hauntingly quiet half hour dragged on as he watched in, too scared to get up and turn the T.V. off. Eventually, the man mustered he courage to stand up. He approached the T.V. and pressed the power button. The static remained on screen. Confused he tried again, but to no avail. Leaning down he unplugged the power, finally garnering a black screen for his efforts. He heaved a sigh of relief. And was horrified to realise that his was not the only voice he could hear. With mounting dread, he slowly peered beneath the television stand. His heart pounding in his mouth, his vision slowly crawled past wires, ports and dusty sections of electrics. Finally he saw the floor in front of his television.
Empty. Just carpeted floor, the dim illumination from street lights outside and the fleeting glimpses of dust.
Sweating pouring down his back, he repeated his search, locking every door behind him as he went from room to room. Finally, he crawled back beneath the sheets of his bed. The night seemed to crawl on forever, and he tossed and turned in his state between sleep and consciousness. He was once more awoken by creaking. Immediately he threw himself onto the floor besides his bed, gazing up to the space on the other side of his bed to see...
Nothing but two feet planted heavily on the carpet. They were on the balls of the foot, suggesting that the individual was leaning over the bed. It was just then that he felt a cold breath on the back of his neck.
The officer was found dead on the pavement, 17 floors beneath his apartment window. His death was categorised as suicide, and it was added to the growing number. The number of suicides had quadrupled over four days, and reports of strange VHS tapes being sold containing only static are on the increase.