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Gateway to Hell Mystery

Circulus Keep

If you’re one of our frequent readers, you no doubt know that we post some pretty weird stuff at times (and proudly so), but this is perhaps the weirdest.

It’s no secret that most blogs like ours survive on donations and advertisers. With that said, I get many solicitations daily to promote other’s products for free and I politely point them towards our ads page. Even so, when we are offered money to promote, we still carefully approve ads as we care about relevancy, quality, safety, and we’re not going to recommend something that we wouldn’t really recommend just because someone has asked us to.

We reported what looks to be some sort of viral marketing campaign for a movie back in September. Since then, I’ve received a few strange emails and from one particular person, several, insisting that I continue to push gatewaytohell.org to HL readers. Since I’d already dropped a line about it and no one seemed to be interested in it, it was onto the next thing.

I politely pointed them to our ads page if they were interested in purchasing an ad spot to promote whatever it is that they wanted to promote. They seemed to ignore this and continued to email me, which I ignored all later emails as there was nothing left I could tell them. That continued until today, where this person made quite a sizable donation, which is good for HL and HL readers.

They followed up with an email instructing us to share this post, along with the attached image (seen above — which appears to be an insignia of some sort) and the following message:

we look new persons join

it important we find best person ut complete

big reward first find

begin now http://gatewaytohell.org/

Besides this all being somewhat ominous, cryptic, and in broken English, this person appears to speak Latin primarily (I looked up “Circulus” and it’s the Latin word for “Circle”), what I would take away from this is that this is some kind of puzzle or game and that whoever “completes” it first, will win some kind of prize. Considering the size of donation made (the privacy of which will be respected), this will likely be a pretty damn worthwhile prize.

Considering the nature of HL, I still would place my money on this being some kind of marketing ploy for an upcoming movie, obviously a horror movie. Nevertheless, whatever this is, it’s pretty fascinating and looks like a hell of a lot of fun, certainly worth sharing with you guys.

Let’s put our heads together and see if we can’t figure out what the hell (no pun intended) this thing is and what it’s all about! I’ll see if I can enlist the help of HL writers John and Martyn too. Obviously, if there’s really a prize involved, it’s only fair that we not be eligible to win it, but I think it’ll be fun to help anyways.

IMPORTANTClearly, I have my feelings about what this is and I feel that it’s safe, just a clever ruse by some movie studio or maybe a college student art project. However, I don’t know 100% for sure and while unlikely, it is within the realm of possibility that this isn’t just a game and perhaps this is somehow dangerous or nefarious. You follow the link and “play” at your own risk.

I’ll update with new findings as I come across them. Please comment below with yours.

UPDATES

UPDATE #1

The commenters below have been able to get much farther than I was initially and it looks like we’re dead-ended at a clue regarding Salem, MA, which of course immediately conjures up images of witches.

UPDATE #2

I hadn’t bothered to even read through the forum thread until now, which as far as I can tell, is the first mention of gatewaytohell.org anywhere because I wasn’t as invested before. But, it looks like there’s more, much more to the story. Some bizarre replies from the thread starter:

REPLY #1

This is a deeply personal topic for me, so please try and be kind and respectful of my feelings. A lot of this is hard for me to open up about to others, but I could use some help.

My Mother died giving birth to me, and my Father, alone, raised my older Sister JoAnne and I here in Anderson, South Carolina. We’ve had a somewhat hard life, and despite my Father never remarrying, he was a good man, a hard worker and could always make my Sister and I laugh.

He also had a knack for scaring us.

When we were younger, he’d sometimes do a little fire in the backyard for us, where we could cook marshmallows, hotdogs, even apples :). I have fond memories of those times, but I wasn’t particularly fond of this one scary story he would always tell us.

He always referred to it as the “Path to Hell”, this place that actually exists on Earth. I remember once when I was older (teenage years) and less scared of it (and I myself had become a bit into weird stuff too) had my friend Kyle over and I was trying to scare him with the story.

I recall the next morning at breakfast, we all sat around the table and my Father was being a lot quieter than usually (he loved the sound of his own voice) when out of nowhere he just blurted out “It’s not the ‘Gateway’ to Hell son, it’s the ‘Path’.” My obvious response was “Huh?” He didn’t respond any further and it was a pretty awkward silence, especially for my friend Kyle, to say the least.

Apparently he had been eavesdropping on us and apparently I called it “Gateway” which I guess is wrong, I didn’t really see the difference between the words or why it was important to him until last year when he died of cancer.

We actually had a bit of a falling out, I dropped out of school and moved out when I was 16, we hadn’t talked in years. My Sister stayed close with him, but she had more patience than me. He picked up a bit a of a drinking problem and I couldn’t stand being around anymore.

Only a few years ago when she called me and told me that he was sick did I come around again, trying to help out and make amends. Him and I were cordial, but there was always a bit of tension. Anyways, on his death bed, and if you think my life is weird already, this gets a whole lot weirder, his last words to me were something along the lines of:

“Son, those stories I used to tell you and your Sister…”

He got pretty out of it at this point, not sure if it was the meds, he lost his train of thought or maybe he was pondering whether to tell me or not, not sure? He finally followed up:

“It’s all real. The path is always there, but it’s hidden and safe. That’s not the problem, the gateway needs to be protected. There are men that would love to have that information.”

He said this with a completely straight face, no smirking, no storytelling tone like he used to use when we were kids.

For the past year I’ve had this floating around in my head, and only now am I saying anything about that day.

So, what do you guys think?

Is this just his wicked sense of humor, trying to scare me one last time like he used to, maybe as a way of bonding with me or is this something I should look into more?

While I am easily scared sometimes, I’m not especially religious, so I’m not even sure if I believe in a Heaven or Hell to begin with. But, maybe he was being symbolic, trying to give me a life lesson?

Thoughts? Is this an urban legend you guys have heard of before?

REPLY #2

@AnteBellum – Yes, he was quite religious, though not the church-going kind. He once told me he stopped going after my Mother had died. He worked in construction.

@Cuervo – I probably don’t remember it exactly as he told it, but the gist of it is that sometime after World War II a number of “discoveries” were made by certain US government agencies, discoveries that would be impossible to be allowed to be leaked to regular citizens, discoveries that weren’t unbelievable, but because they were believable would be the cause of societal chaos.

So chaotic he said that murder and suicide rates would go “off the charts” and that law, the monetary system etc. would crash (you can imagine how confusing this would be to a child, I only understood some of this in subsequent years).

Keep in mind that my Dad wasn’t even born yet (he was born in 1961). I know he was a volunteer firefighter, but I don’t think he did anything for the military, I could be wrong.

Anyways, one of the discoveries he mentioned was that there were actual paths to Hell, one of which was in our own backyard and that he was tasked with the protection of this information, keeping an eye out that kids wouldn’t trespass in these areas etc. (could be a tool to get my Sister and I to be good?).

Now, as a child I don’t think I could grasp the concept of a generalized/broad statement, so I thought there was literally a portal to hell in my backyard ha ha! Now, I think he meant our town, state or really, the US.

He’d tell us that while some kids really were taken by bad people, some simply disappear, like into a black hole where these hotspots exist.

@OrphanApology – There’s still a lot to go through, but I know he kept journals and drawings.

@fiendchikx138 – Hey, small world! Yes, there’s a lot to go through, a bit daunting and it stirs up feelings I’ve been putting off revisiting.

@lostgirl – Update above in this reply.

Thanks everyone!

REPLY #3 (final reply)

I can’t do this anymore, I’m sorry.

I just received this incredibly creepy email last night. I don’t know how someone got my email, if someone on these boards is messing with me, please stop.

I feel like I’m being watched, if that wasn’t enough, someone broke into my Dad’s house and stole some of his things, the boxes that I’m pretty sure had his journals in them are gone.

I don’t understand, it feels like I’m receiving signs that I should keep looking into this and I know you guys have encouraged me to keep looking, but I receive this email that I should “start digging”, but at the same time I feel like I’m being intimidated to stop. I don’t understand the conflicting messages?

I’m not a coward, but in fight or flight situations, I’m all flight. There’s nothing courageous about being dead.

That’s just silly talk anyways. Whoever is stalking me, if you’re reading this, I’m done, I swear, I’m leaving. It’s clearly just a story and I have no business stirring up stuff I don’t understand. I understand now that it was just a story, make believe. Anything else is just a hoax or overzealous people from these boards teasing me. I’m just being paranoid, I get that now. It’s all good.

I won’t be returning to these boards. I’m sorry guys, good luck (but, like I said it’s clearly just a hoax so don’t waste your time). A screenshot of the email is below. I’m only sharing it to warn you guys, if you get an email from this creepo, just delete it. Obviously, don’t go to the link, it’s probably a virus or something.

Some doors are better left unopened. I don’t belong here anyways, I’m going home. If my Sister wants the house, she can deal with it. Goodbye everyone and thanks for trying to help me.

[link to broken or removed image here — perhaps it was inappropriate?]

First of all, holy shit that’s freaky. Second of all, I’m starting to think this isn’t some genius movie marketing ploy. Have you ever seen any movie go to such lengths to promote? I haven’t.

UPDATE #3

Oh wow, looks like one of the posters on that original thread also found the last clue about Salem and is actually going there! Maybe we can reach out to them to join forces?

Last week I tried death, then I got to the next page and clicked after the sentence. I then was brought to two doors. I clicked the right one and was given coordinates. I tried all combinations (n,e,s,w were not specified) and it lead to salem mass, specifically outside the salem witch museum. I live in NH and have a trip planned for february-ish (tax return). Come then I will go take a look and see if I can get us to the next step.

To the OP. I know you may be scared, and that is okay. What you need to do is put up your protection (that white light within all of us that we use to try and oush through things when we are scared) and keep moving forward. If your dad truly felt like there was a gateway in your backyard and that it was his/your family’s duty to protect it then your best course of action (should you feel comfrotable/able to do so) would be to continue his work. If nothing else it will bring you closer to what he may have dedicated his life to. I am working on this riddle for you because something in my field (the energy that I feel) is telling me that I am the person who needs to help you.

UPDATE #4

Searching Google for mentions of “gatewaytohell.org”, here’s everything seemingly relevant that I can find so far:

Not updating these links anymore. See update #9.

That’s all I can find so far. Please drop a comment below if you find others.

UPDATE #5

I’ve been asked to delete some comments below for abusive and libelous content. Hopefully that resolved it. I haven’t received a take-down notice for the entire post yet, fingers crossed that I don’t.

UPDATED NOTE — Please note that I care about free speech, until a line is crossed. One reader threatening another reader, game or no game, is something I have to handle when I receive a legal notice by email. It wasn’t my choice, made arbitrarily. If I refused, they could just go over my head. In any case, I don’t think there will be made any requests to remove the page because I don’t think there are any legal grounds for such a request. We’re a community and under fair use, as long as we’re not endangering anyone, we should be able to discuss gatewaytoheaven.org or anything related that’s publicly available freely.

UPDATE #6

Based on everything discussed here and over other respective forums (here mostly) so far, I have a new theory.

A few days ago, a reader suggested that this was an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), a term I had not previously heard. Well, even if this is an ARG, have you ever considered that that doesn’t automatically make this any less real or dangerous or illegal or affecting real people’s lives?

Considering previous comments (which I had to delete — can be found elsewhere, but I’m not going to link to them), what if that’s the point? What if that was always the intention and it’s no secret that it’s an ARG? What if that works to “their” benefit that we just think it’s a game, to accomplish some nefarious task for a real person’s agenda? I realize that’s a lot of “what if”, but that’s the most ingenious way to recruit free manpower for some purpose if I ever heard one.

We have a “Herbert L. Wallace” who claimed to be the original poster of information about “Gateway to Hell” (which we have no idea if this is a literal or figurative meaning of “hell” or something else entirely yet) and while he apparently went underground at first out of fear from “creepy” happenings, eventually came around and realized the messages he was receiving weren’t threatening, but from a “friend”.

Possibly someone on the inside of the Circulus Keep organization, who was merely trying to team up with “Herbert” for the soul purpose of exposing Circulus Keep with the mock website gatewaytohell.org, one commenter theorized, and I would probably agree with them. This would make sense now that Herbert has exposed himself, because Circulus Keep already knows his identity (actually offers him protections that this is now publicly known) and why this “mysterious friend” would need to conceal there’s, because their part in all this isn’t yet known.

But, gatewaytoheaven.org came out after gatewaytohell.org? This could either mean that there really is someone on the inside that had previous knowledge that Circulus Keep, who’s clearly been off the grid until now, is now trying to reach a worldwide audience and they made their preemptive strike to expose them or gatewaytoheaven.org is a real church community who’s put up the site in reaction to gatewaytohell.org in an attempt to protect their reputation. If the latter, perhaps it’s some disgruntled ex-employee or someone who was a member of the church as a child and possibly hurt by them (you probably understand what I’m getting at) and just want to hurt the church and their image.

The following is only an opinion based on the available public information we have so far and in no way substantiates anything nor is to be taken as an attack or attempt at trying to set anything in motion, and a quick reminder that everyone “plays” at their own risk. Furthermore, regardless of the possibility of this “game” having real-world ramifications for real people, I continue “playing” only under the hope that this is just a game:

In the simplest terms, it seems the reverse is true:

— gatewaytohell.org = good
— gatewaytoheaven.org = evil

And it being up to us to help the “good” side expose the “evil” side.

Again, I say that only in terms of my good faith belief that this is hopefully just an innocent game and that being the implied game’s storyline, not in the intention that this is hurting any real people or companies, nor should I be at fault if it turns out this isn’t just a game.

UPDATE #7

There’s strong evidence now and it’s of the belief of many that the next clue lies in room #427 of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA. Considering the rooms aren’t exactly cheap, especially with the possibility that this is just a dead-end, maybe if we can find someone who’s legitimately willing to stay in that room, we can all pitch in?

If we can figure out which room is #427, whoever stays there should be able to reserve a room online ($100 – $300 price range), otherwise they’ll need to email or call (978-744-4080) to reserve a room and specifically request room #427 (that should be an interested discussion considering it probably wouldn’t be the smartest idea to tip them off about the true reason).

UPDATED NOTE — Although, it just occurred to me that even though there’s 100+ of us playing publicly, who knows how many are playing privately? Meaning, someone who’s playing to win and isn’t sharing their discoveries with anyone could book the room before us, get the clue, and be gone. :(

UPDATE #8

Someone got into room #427! All they had to do was ask nicely, hadn’t thought of that ;). Anyways, whether they found a clue or not is up to interpretation. Either someone already found the clue and isn’t sharing or the fact that page 666 was missing from the room’s bible is the clue.

UPDATE #9

Holy shit, that’s what I get for having a day job. This thing has blown up since I last updated. Let’s see if I can get caught up with everything. Here goes nothing:

  • I last updated where a group made it into room 427
  • The clue they found there was page 666 torn from the bible
  • http://gatewaytohell.org/location changed and now says “She hated it when I called her Elizabeth.”
  • One clever player guessed nicknames until finding http://gatewaytohell.org/lizzy, which redirects to http://gatewaytohell.org/elizabeth.txt which has a disturbing message, another clue, and link to this song
  • The clue here is “8X4.X34.X349 – X as was torn from the mighty warrior.”
  • Figuring it out, another player replaced the X with 6 to reveal a working phone # 864.634.6349, which when called has a voice greeting explaining that we need to “work together moving forward”
  • A few players who called, have now received a text message in return explaining that we need to stop the fragmentation and all join together here http://www.meetup.com/gateway-to-truth-army/, which I assume we’ll receive further instruction once enough of us join

I have to say, things definitely have gotten hard to keep track of between multiple duplicate topics across here, Reddit, and wherever else it’s being discussed and new links popping up here and elsewhere, that are actually counterproductive considering our latest instructions.

Sadly, the many topics keep getting closed or deleted for some bizarre reason, so this couldn’t have happened at a better time. We now have one, unified place to communicate and keep track of and archive all the steps we’ve gone trough already and all the loose-end clues still floating around.

In direct contrast to the explicit text we received, which basically says if we don’t cooperate it’s game over, people are still creating new threads and chat areas elsewhere. In spirit of actually wanting to see this thing through, I for one am going to stop updating here, close the comments area below, and sign up for an account over on Meetup.

See you over there!

UPDATE #10

What the hell is going on? Apparently the Meetup group was removed. I also noticed a bunch of the other discussion areas keep getting removed, comments deleted, or closed. Either someone is fucking with us, trying to stop us, or a bunch of closed-minded assholes don’t like the subject matter of this whole thing and are making complaints.

“Gateway to Heaven” previously made a complaint here and I had to remove some libelous and threatening comments, but I didn’t delete the whole page. We have the right of free speech discussion and fair use to play and explore this game regardless of whether some people like it or not.

I’ll temporarily re-open comments below until we know where to go from here.

UPDATE #11

The Army of Truth lives on!

If you shoot an email over to gatewaytotruthorg@gmail.com, you’ll get an invite to the latest meeting area https://gatewaytotruth.slack.com/.

Closing comments again.

UPDATE #12

If you’re still following along, just about the only thing you can do right now is follow @CirculusKeep. It’s worth mentioning that it’s strongly believed that Circulus Keep is a cult, so follow, but don’t listen to any of their warped instructions.

UPDATE #13 — Massive Update

A lot has happened since I last updated. If you didn’t make it into the final https://gatewaytotruth.slack.com/ group, many things have happened since and I’ll try to quickly summarize. We were given special assignments that were exclusive to us.

This included answering deeply psychological questions that opened us up to some very deep conversation about mental health issues, which seemed to have created a more intimate and tight group, sending pictures of ourselves holding knives, attacking the @CirculusKeep Twitter account with the “truth”, and more.

At this point, Sebastien seemed to have taken over all the accounts. The website went down with a message that said “your leader is dead”, the phone was disconnected, and we can only assume he took over everything else. Sebastien was a highly disturbed and volatile ghost child or retarded man or alternate personality of the Gatekeeper, who knows?

He claimed to have our leader (Gatekeeper) and that he’d kill him if we didn’t follow his instructions. When we refused to listen and stayed loyal to what Gatekeeper told us to do, he cut some of his fingers off. He wanted us to make puzzles and get more friends for his “Daddy” (Twitter followers) by creating our own puzzles to draw people in.

The catch was that we had to pretend that Sebastien made the puzzles to make Daddy proud of him. Apparently, he loathes Herbert for being smarter and better-liked than him. At this point, we still wouldn’t listen or turn over poor souls to this cult. Sebastien then became very angry and kicked us all out of Slack. He then took over the Twitter account and we were able to come back in if we apologized to Sebastien and promised that we’d be nice to him and be his friends.

Most of us made it back in, but we had a few soldiers quit at this point. We had to follow everything Sebastien said at this point and suck up to him like some little royal prince bitch. Some people did make puzzles and different creative ways to promote the Twitter account.

One creative person made this video, which is awesome and hilarious. He made us play these awful games where we’d have to make little emoticons for him, animals and trains and whatnot and whenever he made one we told him what a great job he did. Finally, he made us draw pictures of him (a teddy bear) with crayons to vie for his affection.

Considering Sebastien was playing by nobodies’ rules, but his own and not really helping either side, only himself, we saw what could be the Daddy personality come out and scold Sebastien. At this point, Sebastien was seemingly removed from all the accounts and everything was restored to normal.

Things went quiet for a bit and then a “Mr. Unknown” made his entrance and we were given a date, March 20th, 2015 and a place, SLC, UT. This information was quickly hidden out of fear that the other personalities would discover it and we were given a code to trigger Mr. Unknown when we needed him again.

Things then went quiet for longer than we’ve had before without new assignments or clues since this all began. But, in just the last few days, Gatekeeper appears to have returned, dazed and confused, but ready to get us back on track with our “lessons”:

http://gatewaytohell.org/0110111001101111011101000110100001101001011011100110011101101110011001010111001101110011/

Since the Slack group began, everything was exclusive. This is the first time that something new has happened that appears to be inclusive again. We haven’t been able to solve it yet. By the way, while this seems like a lot of info to consume, this is actually a really short summary of recent events. It would be too hard to get it all. We’re talking about tens of thousands of messages, tons of theories, people going on witch hunts for spies, trying to join Circulus Keep, and going a little nuts.

It’s a lot of information and it makes my brain hurt. So, to the others that are still playing, if I missed anything important or got anything wrong or in the wrong order please let me know. Right now, all we know is that we have this most recent puzzle. We have our smartest and brightest on it, but we might need more help.

In retrospect, of what we now believe to be just one person with multiple personalities behind all this, we seem to be playing a really sick game inside of someone else’s mind or reality or fantasy or whatever. The part that’s sickest is that if it is in fact true that Gatekeeper and Sebastien are the same person, they must have cut off their own fingers?

Another thing that I find kind of chilling is how much this person is inside our heads, game or no game. Granted, we’ve voluntarily given some pretty intimate details about ourselves (most of us were brutally honest too). However, everything the Gatekeeper predicted before any of that, before anyone even quit, especially our behavior, has been right on the money.

Some theories point to the game being “broken” or “imploding” or whatever. The truth is, I might buy into that theory too if it wasn’t for the fact that it was all stated upfront. Therefore, it seems pretty obvious that everything is connected, a meaningful test of sorts and not just random chaos.

I’ve also seen some criticism about the game being too exclusive. That gives me a few thoughts and also changes my earliest theory about what this is all about.

One, we’re not in kindergarten anymore where we all get gold stars. This experience doesn’t appear to just be some throwaway experience. It seems to me it’s definitely not fun all the time, which is part of the real challenge, which has real consequences and that only those of us that stay loyal through the thick and thin, will be rewarded.

Two, since it has been so niche, exclusive, and even esoteric at times, my earliest thoughts of this just being some movie marketing campaign or whatnot is probably wrong. So far, this has been a pretty special experience, and that’s what I think it’s all about, the experience for the sake of an experience, whatever each individual gets out of it.

An experience that is as wildly vast as life itself, something some people will love, like, dislike, or hate. Since they don’t seem to want everyone to be apart of this outside of those that can show patience and dedication, it seems highly unlikely that once we get to the end of this it turns out to be just some big promotion.

You know “Thanks for playing, test drive the new Toyota now!” or “Congratulations, see you in theaters on 00/00/15 for the release of the new supernatural thriller Sparkle Kittens!” If it does turn out to be just some promotion for some commercial bullshit, I think many will feel the same way as me, pissed.

Speaking only for myself (although I should say many others have already shared the same sentiment), this experience has been nothing short of amazing. No matter how it all ends and to have had fun at any point, I’m grateful for the experience. It didn’t cost me any money to join, they haven’t tried to sell me anything (at least not yet — fingers crossed), I’ve met some interesting people from all around the world, and had some very interesting conversation.

With that said, even if I lose interest at some point and freely walk away (just as freely as I joined in the first place) or I’m unable to reach the end with the others (which will be sad), I don’t see how I could have any legitimate complaints. Thank you everyone, not just the people behind this, but everyone who ever engaged (even if they later dropped out for whatever reason) because I feel like that’s the most important piece of this entire experience, the human connection.

Anyways, cheers to solving this goddamn mystery!

That’s made me anxious, perhaps a little paranoid at times and given me some fucking weird dreams.

:)

UPDATE #14

The latest puzzle has been solved. It unlocks this zip file which is password-protected by 0110111001101111011101000110100001101001011011100110011101101110011001010111001101110011. The archive contains a text file, audio file, and video file. Have a look.

UPDATE #15 — It looks like it’s finally all over!

Sorry I haven’t updated this post in a while for anyone still following along. It does look like the game has finally come to an end. I hesitate to use the word game or end because neither of those concepts may even apply to what this really was, but for sanity’s sake, I’ll try to keep this summary simple. In fact, the way it concluded is open to infinite interpretations of which could all possibly be right and wrong at the same time, which is part of the experience’s message it seems.

I didn’t exactly quit per se, but I’ve been so busy with family and work, that I haven’t had time to communicate with any of the other players or help solving the mystery in weeks. Between now and the last time I updated a lot of waiting took place (mostly due to dead ends and planning), but also a lot of other story elements, clues, puzzles, communications, and discussions took place. I think in the last few months there have been a tight group of players that never missed a single day of saying hello to each other. That’s pretty cool.

I realize there’s people that never made it into the final group or that were otherwise eliminated throughout the game that are still anxiously watching this post and other areas keeping tabs on the game hoping to still find out how it all ended. I’ll do my best to recap what I’ve caught up on with what the team discovered, but at the same time, respect their privacy and really, since I didn’t help with the last part of reaching the end, I’ll leave it up to those players to decide how much more to share publicly with what they discovered, in terms of pictures and their personal feelings and the like.

Since it’s already publicly known, I will say that a location in Salt Lake City, UT, USA, was in fact legitimate and did tie into the story we were being told. We were given an address of an old abandoned building that was allegedly haunted. We were then given exact geolocation coordinates of a spot on the property and told there we could “dig up” our truth. At this point, we became a little discouraged at the difficulty level of getting to the location, but we didn’t give up. We put our heads together and had a few different plans of getting the location searched.

Finally, what it looks like they ultimately decided on was pooling our money together (I put in $50, but that was before I left and I forgot to actually send it! Sorry guys.) to cover expenses to get inside players to the location (we’d become quite protective of the game and our progress and suspicious of outsiders at this point). Two players from our team made the trip and did find a buried box. They took pictures, but again I’m not sure it’s my place to share those. Inside the box were the following items (I could be missing something):

  • Knife (covered in real blood)
  • Circulus Keep Logo (burnt up)
  • Bible (very old with real blood drops on page 666)
  • Teddy Bear (with cash hidden inside — which covered costs and ultimately no one had to spend even $1 thank goodness)
  • Music Box (that plays Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”)
  • Walking Cane (smashed to pieces — not sure exactly what this symbolizes as every other piece has an obvious connection)
  • Envelope (containing “the truth” — will explain below)

For most of the game, we’ve been working towards some great unknown truth as well as the truth to certain questions that developed specific to the story we were being told.

In a nutshell, the ending we received was a confession from a serial killer, who didn’t try to hide the fact that it was all a game and in fact, explicitly told us it was all a fictitious game for the purpose of luring us in with a real hidden agenda, to deliver us a message and find a successor. He said that all the supernatural stuff was bogus. No hell or ghosts or magical gateways.

Basically, we were told everyone else quit or lost and suggested that there was something wrong with those of us who remained, that we had traits suitable for becoming successful serial killers ourselves. Most of us were shocked and disturbed and surprised by this ending, to say the least. Even the most skeptical and cynical of players appear to have been genuinely creeped out by what was found.

As disgusting, rude, and arrogant as this old man who clearly hates the world is, I have to admit he makes some interesting points. Throughout this experience has been sprinkled little hints about Schrödinger’s cat and choice and contradictions, ultimately duality I think. In my opinion, what this game challenges is the definition of reality. To me, it’s basically saying alternate-reality game, alternate to what? Reality itself is fictional and is a game. It also references life imitating art and art imitating life.

I’ve come up with an analogy that best represents my own interpretation of what it all meant. Imagine standing between two mirrors, one mirror is a “real”, traditional mirror and the other, a “fake” mirror, just a really shiny surface. Now, just because one mirror is real and one is fake, do they not both still cast a reflection of you? And furthermore, do they not both reflect one another infinitely? Essentially, to say that both states exist at the same time, together in unity.

We were also told that it doesn’t matter what we think, we’re right. Whatever we think it means to us, is… well, what it means to us, hence it can’t be wrong. Even if the maker or makers of the game have an intended meaning that’s their own personal truth, that doesn’t discredit others.

This insane confession and rant and the game, overall, covers many, many more subjects of psychology and philosophy and really, everything, so everyone will experience it differently and take away something different. We were even told that if you think the whole thing was a joke, a stupid waste of time, that you’re also right. I hope you can read it and decide for yourself, which you’ll really need to if you’re going to absorb the entire message and get answers (if you have questions). I don’t think myself or anyone else could adequately explain the madness that we read.

For those of us that were on the inside, we might have spent too much time obsessing about some of these ideas. It’s a little frightening and depressing. We all helped to complete this thing, even the players that quit, so great work everyone. I’m happy it’s all over and that to some extent, we got our closure! And again, for players that quit or were booted, as far as seeing pictures of what we discovered including this serial killer’s confession, I think it’s up to the two players that actually made the trip, did the work, found the box, and documented their experience, as to whether they wish to share those publicly or not.

That’s about as good as I can sum it up. Unfortunately, so much has happened and so much time has passed that even as inside players, I doubt we remember everything. Also, some things we experienced were only temporary and are now gone. Hopefully, if other players decide to share their experiences too, you can get some more insight.

It’s been a fun and weird experience. That’s all folks!

UPDATE #16

With permission from and credit to the players bunny and doable, here are the pictures they took of their findings and the box contents at the last location in our strange little mystery:

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Black

Crypt Keeper at Halloween Love
I ♥ Halloween. I am the creator, editor, and keeper of Halloween Love. Although you'll find new creeps about helping me to maintain these macabre archives of dread. Reach me at black@halloweenlove.com.

Latest posts by Black (see all)

  • Azazel60606

    Well the binary code from the link can be translated to “nothingness” and inside the page code there were some words of marked forming the prhase “she lived the same way she died”

  • Azazel606060

    Ohh and the robots.txt page now say “# sebastien is dead”

  • Azazel606060

    Binary – Nothingness

    baconian – NZXXIDJNZTWZLTO / SGIIXFWSGMJDGUMR

    ROT13 – AMKKVQWAMGJMYGB / FTVVKSJFTZWQTHZE

    Morse –

    playfair,

    bifid,

    base64

  • Those of us who made it into the final circle have now been granted the privilege of vouching for one new recruit each. We need players who live in Utah. If that’s you please email the Army of Truth at thearmyoftruth@gmail.com. Thanks

  • It’s all over! Finally! I promised to stick with it until the end and report what we found. See update #15.

  • gregorius

    Thanks Black for the writeup, which I think well captures our feelings about this ‘game’.

    Toward the end, some of us did talk every day about all sorts of personal issues and beliefs, including ones that I think the game brought to the surface and ones which are difficult to talk about. It did end up relating to issues that were highly personal and different for each of us.

    Also, I think some players have been inspired by the experience in different ways. Not to become serial killers… but some players have talked about creating an ARG of their own, for example.

    Thanks for this strange time. Be well!

  • nauthas

    May as well drop my comment down here. I’m glad a conclusion turned around quick- there was a lot of waiting- that said I’m-a text bunny see if she’s fine giving you the images! Thx and hope we cross paths in the future! ~nauthas

  • Thoth

    Thanks Black for the update, I really found something more than material during our long pathway. Thank you all for being you, i hope our path will cross again.

  • Sure thing. Yeah, this whole experience has been really surreal. I keep finding different possibilities of what it all meant, but also wonder if it meant nothing. Schizophrenia seems to have been a heavy theme of the experience and looking at the basic list of symptoms the game made me feel all of those things at one point.

  • Hey nauthas, hope you’re staying out of trouble or getting into it depending on the kind ;). Yeah, the waiting was probably the cruelest challenge of the experience. “They” seemed to take delight in watching us bounce off the walls and it seemed the longer we waited the weirder all of our behavior became. I’m happy it’s all over too, it was a mentally obsessive time and we weren’t going to let go until we had some kind of conclusion.

    If bunny and doable decide to share the images somewhere publicly I’d be happy to link to them.

    By the way, I decided to retire myself from communicating on Slack so that’s why I haven’t been saying hello. It was a huge time suck and I needed to pay attention elsewhere. Once I saw the email that we had the box I just wanted to get in and get out to see what happened and write up this final update which I promised to do.

  • It has been really strange. It was almost like group Stockholm syndrome. That’s pretty damn cool if they make a game, I have nothing but encouragement for people that want to flex their creativity muscle. I’d ask for an invite once it’s ready, but I think this might be the first and last time I play a game like this. It’s easy to hop onto a video game, but a game like this is more like a pet that needs to be nurtured. If you neglect it it dies and you fail. Same reason I don’t have cat (inside joke).

    I wish warmth and wellness for everyone too. Very happy the snowy season is over.

  • anonymous

    I like the article, Black. Thanks for the closure.

  • nauthas

    That’s cool FYI Bunny texted me and said it’s completely fine to use the pictures. (=

  • Done.

  • Anything new?

  • I don’t think there’s any indication that anything is continuing. As much as something bizarre like this can be finished, I think we did.

  • Jonathan Brisby

    Did you ever consider submitting the items to FBI to see if the blood DNA was in the database? Might be a good idea.