Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’ve made clear my love of myths and folklore and ARG’s (Alternate Reality Games). I enjoy the way truth, fiction, pretended truth and pretended fiction can intermingle, especially like the Orion/ Elvis Presley situation or in the participatory manner of ARGs, Adult Swim and CreepyPastas.
For what it’s worth, I would recommend hopping on to Kris Straub’s latest experiment in meta-horror, Local 58 TV, while it is still ongoing. If you’re not familiar with Straub’s work he parlayed his quasi-CreepyPasta tale about Candle Cove, a “forgotten” Children’s Show with horrific undertones into a collection of short stories and later a television series.
In the fashion of the H.P. Lovecraft Fictional Universe, largely centered around the Miskatonic Valley, the Necronomicon and Miskatonic University, Kris’ shared fictional universe largely centers around the nonexistent towns of Ichor Falls, Broodhollow, Edenvale and Lasker City. The towns are located in the real-life Mason County, WV.
Local 58 TV, serving Straub’s fictional towns, is part of his latest ingenious horror project. Like Candle Cove, the tale of this made-up television station has started out as a hauntingly incomplete mosaic.
The station’s vaguely sinister slogan We have always been here is just the opening salvo in its eerie, disturbing and horrific programming. Deepening the mystery is the way in which it is often unclear how much of the unfolding terror is actually the station’s fault and how much is content from vile unknown parties who hijack the station’s signal.
There is something very, very wrong with the Moon and apparently has been for some time. Enigmatic forces seem to be encouraging mass suicide under the guise of an old-fashioned Emergency Broadcast System video. A seemingly benign Sleep Study is more like an attempt to suppress dreaming and ultimately discourage sleep itself. Children’s Programs are aired at 11:56PM or 4:15AM and are more like macabre nightmares.
And maybe you shouldn’t trust the calm, tranquil voice coming from your car’s GPS.
“Concerned citizens” (Straub himself) have taken to uploading some of Local 58’s more menacing broadcasts to a Youtube Channel of the same name. Best of all, creator Kris Straub has openly stated that it is NOT aliens who are behind it all, hopefully ensuring a much more original storyline than it initially looked like we were in for.
As I stated above, this ARG is ongoing, so – if you have the patience since it can be months between episodes – tune in now to enjoy the saga. In the end, Local 58 TV may wind up in book or television show format, too, but you’ll have gotten in on the ground level.
Straub has thrown in some fake “archives” of Local 58 like a Pentathode diagram and this fake TV Guide item (read every word):
Below is just one example of Local 58’s bizarre, disturbing programming. It’s a pastiche of a “vintage” cartoon featuring Kris Straub’s character Cadavre, further cementing Local 58 into his Broodhollow/ Ichor Falls shared universe. If you like the video below, the YT channel is HERE