Are you having night terrors, followed by waking hallucinations? Are you experiencing nosebleeds despite never having any preexisting allergies? Are you hearing tape hiss even though you don’t own a VCR? Are you feeling a strong compulsion to scratch faces out of magazines or draw circles on the ceiling?
Look around. Are there flies in the faucets? What about millipedes? Are your TVs powering on and off on their own? Does your phone appear to be weeping from the speaker?
These are the early warning signs of Samara Morgan syndrome, a condition that proves fatal within 7 days, if left untreated.
Does any of the following apply to you?
You’ve seen a swirling smudge ever time you’ve tried to take a selfie. You’ve spotted phantom silhouettes darting across reflective surfaces. You’ve discovered handprints burned onto your forearm. You’ve unspooled an EEG electrode from the back of your throat.
You’ve been attacked horses or deer.
When lightning flashed outside your windows you saw a monochromatic field with an old stone well. You’ve since spotted temporal distortions in the recesses of your home. You’ve stepped into your bedroom and touched down upon the cushion of a padded cell. You’ve opened your closet and found horizontal droplets falling into a vertical puddle. You’ve entered your garage and discovered a ladder to an attic that was never there before.
You’ve felt a presence in the bathtub. Your hair has felt dry, itchy, and matted with foreign fingers. You’ve experienced gravitational anomalies centralized around your showerhead. Your ceiling is pooling with inverted streams.
If all of the above is true you may be in the late stages of Samara Morgan Syndrome.
Where does Samara Morgan Syndrome come from?
Samara was the adopted daughter of Anna and Richard Morgan. When she was young neuroscientists discovered that she had a psychic ability known as thoughtography. It allowed he to burn images from her mind onto film and wood. It also allowed her to broadcast her visions. A power Samara used to terrorize her parents and then the horses in the stable where she slept. Irritated by all the nighttime neighing, Samara spooked the horses over the edge of a cliff.
Samara died in 1980 when her foster mother pushed her down a well. She was ten.
The well was built over. Now a cabin sits in its place and home entertainment center stands directly over Samara’s watery grave. While Samara’s corpse is submerged, her abilities have far from faded. A fact she’s proven to a group of rowdy teens.
The teens had rented the cabin above Samara’s well. They tried to record a football game, but failed to get reception, and when they rewound the tape the recording had turned into something else. Samara had burned a psionic vision onto VHS, an autobiography filled with experimental visuals, writhing bodies, abstract gore, and pain triggers.
Before the teenagers could process what they’d seen the phone rang.
“Seven days.” The voice whispered on the other end.
Scared and bewildered, the teens had no idea they were at ground zero for a pandemic of the soul.
How the curse spread
This is how CDC describes the life cycle of Samara Morgan Syndrome:
- An individual watches the video and becomes afflicted
- The afflicted becomes an unwitting medium for Samara’s thoughtography.
- Hallucinations give way to physical phenomenon: ring shaped scarification, handprint burns, and brail scabbing.
- The afflicted encounters ghostly projections surveying their surroundings.
- The stone well appears on the nearest screen. Samara crawls through and kills the afflicted with a single psychokinetic glance.
- OR the afflicted makes a copy of the video, shows it to someone else and the cycle repeats itself.
According to the CDC, the spread of Samara Morgan Syndrome had diminished with the shuttering of video chains. It resurged recently when a digitized copy appeared online. It’s since gone global, spreading through email chains, converting contact lists into grave plots.
Now the nation’s dormitories are teaming with the bodies. Samara’s victims are characterized by eyes drained of light, skin bleached of color, and jaws yawning off their hinges.
CCTV cameras have spotted Samara everywhere from rural shacks to planned communities. Her current manifestation assumes the form of a Japanese onryō, a vengeance spirit with a veil of straight black hair. Her complexation is pale, loose, and wrinkled with a layer of black veins like liquid marble. She wears the tattered ribbons she died in and stands several feet taller than she ever did in life.
Is the Ring Video Protected by the First Amendment?
The CDC wants to keep Samara out of public spaces without banning TVs, laptops, tablets, and cellphones.
“The key is to identify infection sources and neutralize them.” Says Robert R. Redfield, director of the Center of Disease Control.
The CDC has implemented an artificial intelligence to scrub the Internet for keyframes from Samara’s video. Once a frame is flagged the host is contacted. A coalition of social networks have agreed to block the video. The problem is none of them are required to take it down. A problem the current administration refuses to take executive action on.
The president refused to acknowledge the situation until a fifty foot Samara emerged from a Times Square jumbotron and lumbered through downtown Manhattan.
“Now we know that manifestation was unsettling, but really, she was only after one person. If the other pedestrians had gotten out of the way they’d have been fine.”
Despite that episode the administration refuses to take any steps to stave off the spread of the video.
Free speech advocates argue that any government action would be a violation of the first amendment, while constitutionalists argue the video constitutes a clear and present danger, like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
Using contact tracing to stop Samara Morgan
The CDC is using contact tracing to identify anyone who may have come into contact with the video. The goal is to quarantine the curse and prevent it from spreading. This is proving to be a hard sell for those who are already afflicted. They are faced with the decision to pass the curse on or await a death sentence.
Robert R. Redfield, of the CDC says, “We traced the spread of the video to a research laboratory at Washington State. Students chronicled their visions as their seven days wound down. They then passed the video on to volunteers that they called ‘tails.’ When the students ran out of tails, they spread the video throughout community. Our mission is to follow the chain of victims.”
After quarantining many of the afflicted, the CDC went to great lengths to find state sanctioned “tails” to be the final links in Samara’s chain. It was the Department of Justice who proposed utilizing the nation’s overcrowded prison population.
Can Americans flatten the curse?
The CDC recommends the general public take preventative measures against the Ring video by installing a browser extension that blocks sites that are known to host it. While the extension is 99% effective many American aren’t too keen on the idea of letting Big Brother surf over their shoulder.
The Justice Department warns it has already cycled through the death row inmates they’d set to use as tails. Now they’re showing the video to prisoners with multiple life sentences. Soon they’ll have to use low level offenders. This could prove challenging after November’s election. A new administration might choose to broaden the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. Then America will be forced to outsource its tails to foreign prisons.
Nevertheless the director of the CDC remains optimistic. “Education programs, browser extensions, and contact tracing are far less invasive containment methods than the ones we used during the It Follows pandemic of 2014. Compared to that keeping Samara in her watery grave will be a piece of cake.”
Meet Noelle, a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. She’s on the verge of moving back into her mother’s trailer when her agent convinces her to take a meeting at the Oralia Hotel. Enchanted by the art deco atmosphere Noelle signs a contract without reading the fine print.
Now she has one month to pen a novel sequestered in a fantasy suite where a hack writer claims he had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well, he has many names: Louis Cypher, Bill Z. Bub, Kel Diablo. The Devil.
Noelle is skeptical, until she’s awoken by a shadow figure with a taste for souls.
Desperate to make it Noelle stays on, shifting the focus of her story to these encounters. Her investigations take her through the forth wall and back again until she’s blurred the line between reality and what’s written. Is there a Satanic conspiracy, is it a desperate author’s insanity, or something else entirely?