What is the most frightening thing you can think of? There is actually a unanimously correct response. By going into the darkest and most horrific part of the brain could one finally understand what one certain fear causes the body to go into hyperdrive and activate the "fight or flight" response. Any living being is ultimately condemned to choose fear or curiosity at this one, simple piece of knowledge: the unknown. This is why people are afraid of the dark, of monsters, of heights. The thrill is unknown to them. Their body isn't prepared to explain what lies ahead.
The logs you are about to see have recently been released back into the public for a few weeks in hopes of finding new leads. It has yet to be explained what exactly happened to Daniel Smith. The following videos should be viewed with caution. They contain graphic and violent material.
V-Log #1. January 13th, 2014. 6:45 PM
"Hello, my name is Daniel Smith. I've decided to start making a video journal of my life and upload it here to YouTube. I've started to wonder what would happen after I'm gone; would anyone miss me? The real me. My friends and I never really kept in touch after my freshman year of college. Zach is the only one I really keep in contact with nowadays. After the incident, I haven't really told anyone what really happened to me; not even him.
Possibly by getting this story off my chest, after holding it in for three years, would help with the night terrors that keep happening. I have literally tried everything, so I'll do my best to explain."
"Daniel! It's time for dinner!"
"Shit! Gotta cut this one short."
Daniel leaves the screen, forgetting to turn off the webcam, leaving it in total darkness. Seconds later, his face immediately pops back on screen.
"Fuck. How do you even cut off the recording? Is it this one? No- oh, here we-"
There is a screen tear and the screen goes black. The voice heard calling Daniel is his mother.
V-Log #2. January 15th, 2014. 8:37 PM
"Alright, so I intended to finish my last V-log yesterday, but things came up. Anyways, let me try and explain how this all started.
I graduated high school in May of 2010 with a full ride to East Carolina University pursuing Computer Science. Over half of my classes were online because I just felt it easier to learn that way. I ended up acing them all and then decided to learn how to code. See, all of my friends were into playing games as much as I was. So we all decided that we wanted to make it a career. All four of us dreamed about making a huge advancement in the gaming field, and boy did we.
I was the brains of the operation. I had taken every coding class possible and even taught myself basic graphic design and video editing in my spare time. My main focus was on virtual reality. It has been pursued many times in the past, but no real breakthroughs had occurred. The Oculus Rift was still in development so we had to make our own version. Zach was the tech genius. He could take anything and make something useful out of it. Him and Joey made this ungodly mechanism that went over your eyes, but it got the job done.
So, now it was my turn to figure out what game we would create. Horror games were my personal favourite. I loved getting scared and being in control, unlike horror movies. Regardless, I had to find out what scared people, so we all decided to do a survey on campus. We found the majority were afraid of heights, the darkness, or ghosts. Clowns, roller coasters, and other things were part of the lesser majority, but one thing stood out to me. Only about two people came up with the answer that spawned the idea of my game. The unknown. After some hard thinking, I realised that "the unknown" really frightened everyone. All the answers I got fell under that category. They don't know what lurks in the darkness, what a ghost is capable of doing to them, or even how to react during a roller coaster. When you aren't in control, you are scared. Knowing that something else can break through the barriers of your mind and take control of your feelings is the most disturbing thought you can have."
Daniel stares blankly at the screen for about forty seconds without moving. The video appears to be paused until we notice his chest moving as he breathes. He eventually blinks his eyes and looks away before he speaks again.
"I'll tell more later. I'm feeling kind of tired right now."
The audio becomes distorted when Daniel says this. It seems to play over itself twice with the second voice being a few octaves lower than his normal voice.
V-Log #3. January 18th, 2014. 9:48 PM
"Well, I've been sick the past few days so I haven't really felt like doing this, but I have to finish my story.
As I said before, 'the unknown' was the main motive for the development of my game. I decided to make the prototype as a maze for the player to walk through. I had a creature chase after the player throughout the maze to add to the fear factor. Sounds would distort throughout to give the player a sense of excitement. The farther you got in the maze, the more the sounds would disturb you. I took the idea from the popular game, Slender, where you find pages in a dark forest. The more pages you find, the more noises would play adding to the creepy ambiance. Anything from a distant scream of a girl to the sound of your own heartbeat would be heard through the player's headphones.
Well, after long hours of coding and researching, the prototype was ready. David was the first to test it.
Daniel looks down for a few seconds and then looks back up before speaking again.
You know, our minds are made to know everything we sense no matter what it takes. But, when the mind has used up all resources to explain certain pieces of information, all hell breaks loose. The body produces adrenaline causing you to run faster, farther, sweat, and breathe heavier. Our minds use all the energy that is supposed to explain the piece of information and injects it into all our muscles to get away, or face the abomination.
I wanted to find that abomination.
The video seems to slow down and the screen flickers back to different pieces of the clip. It shows Daniel saying the words, "fear," "disturb," "unknown," and "scream" before the video finally cuts to black.
V-Log #4. January 19th, 2014 7:00 AM
This log shows an empty room. Daniel is nowhere to be seen in the footage for the first few minutes. At about 7:06 AM the door to the room opens and the outline of a figure is standing facing the webcam. The figure stands, unmoving, for two full hours before the door slams shut by an unknown force. The screen then goes black.
V-Log #5. January 19th, 2014 3:15 PM
"So I reviewed the footage from last night and I'm not really sure what happened. I think my computer overheated causing the recording software to fuck up.
Anyways, the tests went pretty normal for a while. All four of us tried it out and loved it. David couldn't get enough of it. He was the first to suggest we get more people around campus to try it out and give us suggestions on how to improve it. We all agreed. After having dozens of kids try it out, I got to work on the suggestions. Everything from the sounds, to the monster, to the maze was all changed. The main concern was that people could memorise the layout of the maze after a few play-throughs. One boy suggested we play this game called Amnesia - The Dark Descent to help come up with a more fear-inducing gameplay. I found the game and loved the impact. It's a first-person survival horror game where you have to navigate through a haunted castle avoiding monsters and solving puzzles. The hook of this game is when you are in darkness too long, your character starts to hallucinate.
Before using their idea, I decided to contact the developers before making my own knock-off. After explaining that I was in college, what my major was, and the project we had going, they approved. They actually wanted to send me a few of their discs and drives that had in-depth information on the game and how it was created. They just wanted most of the credit when and if it hit big.
I skipped my classes on a Friday to get an early weekend start on the game and got pretty far into it. I swapped the maze idea for an abandoned insane asylum. Also, I took out the single monster idea and had multiple deranged beings come after you or pop up in windows. I decided to take out some of the audio and make it almost completely silent. I would still put in the distant scream and the heart beat, but no other unknown background filler. Doors would creak, your footsteps, and when you were attacked, the beings screamed and clawed at you; These were the main audio pieces that were promoting the realistic feel to the game.
Again, Daniel pauses and looks down. He continues to look down as he speaks again.
Sometimes we forget the reason we feel fear. It's just there for one simple reason: to save us from the unknown.
Daniel quickly looks back up to the screen.
I'll get more into it tomorrow because I have to go into work."
The screen goes black after Daniel closes his laptop.
V-Log #6. January 19th, 2014 7:00 PM
The camera shows a dark room again. Daniel is still nowhere to be seen. Although, it is unknown how the laptop was reopened. The door to the room is shut and there is no noise. At 7:06 PM, the door to the room slowly opens and the dark figure from before stands unmoving for three full minutes before entering the room. There is no movement of the figure suggesting that it is walking; it seems to glide across the floor and out of view of the camera.
It isn't until 9:06 PM that the door shuts by an unknown force and the laptop closes, shutting off the webcam.
V-Log #7. January 20th, 2014 6:05 AM
Daniel's eyes are bloodshot and tired-looking. He rubs them and yawns before speaking.
"Well, I couldn't sleep for shit last night after work. I kept getting woken up by nightmares and I can't even remember what they were about. Anyways, I guess I'll just get today's log out of the way.
By the time I finished up most of the new gameplay, we were all on Christmas break. I really needed the guys to help test out my new version, but everyone was busy or had plans. Well, what else would you do in this situation? I tried it myself."
This is another point at which Daniel stares at the screen, except he wasn't just staring blankly, he seemed to be looking at something on his screen.
A horrified look appears on Daniel's face as he backs away from the screen and runs out of the room.
Twenty minutes pass before Daniel walks back into the room and sits down at the chair. His face is looking downward until he sits down. As he looks up at the screen, a screen tear happens for a split second. If you pause the video at the second Daniel looks up, his eyes are completely sunken in and black. When the video cuts back to normal, Daniel continues on with his story as if nothing happened.
"When I put the headgear and headphones on, it felt almost too real. I walked toward the asylum and looked up at it. It was raining and there were flashes of lightning every few seconds. I walked inside and found that everything was completely silent. I had the heart monitor strapped to my chest so my heartbeat was the only sound in my headphones.
As I walked through the asylum, I noticed a few unbelievable changes. The rooms and hallways were in unnaturally smooth detail. I continued through the asylum, found the flashlight, keys to rooms, and the hidden objects I had placed throughout the game as a point system. The weirdest part was, the monsters hadn't appeared. I heard the screams, my footsteps, the general noises; nothing else. That was, until I got to the basement.
See, I made a series of tunnels and rooms in the basement that was sort of identical to the main floor. It was darker and I made the footsteps sound different, but there were other sounds as well. I would hear an extremely light scratching sound on the concrete walls if I would stand still. Sometimes, I would hear low whispering right in my ear and maniacal laughter far in the distance. This disturbed me. I made every fibre of this game and had no recollection of putting those in there.
When I found most of the objects I came to one final room. I also had no memory of making this either. It contained a tall wooden door with a giant lock on it, but no windows or even a handle. After constant searching, I found a black key that I had never seen before. I was still baffled at all of this, but I wanted to see this to the end. With no explanation of the key, I returned to the door and tried it. After a long wait in complete silence, I figured the game had crashed on me. Right before I removed the headgear, I heard a creaking sound. As I looked through the headgear once more, I found that the door was wide open.
In the game I made it so the flashlight would have a dwindling energy supply. One of the things you have to find are batteries scattered throughout the asylum. You can also find matches to help give you a short supply of light until you can hopefully find some spare batteries. Well, I was fucking out of batteries, and I had three matches left.
Daniel's face turns horrified
But- but when I s-struck the match, it just blew out as soon as they looked up at me. Oh God, the eyes. They were everywhere...dozens of..eyes.
As soon as the video hits 7:06 AM, Daniel abruptly quiets and then starts sobbing and looks off screen to the right.
"I'm sorry, okay! I didn't know I would let it out! He made-"
The video turns black and ends
V-Log #8. January 23rd, 2014 11:02 PM
Daniel is seen standing in the middle of the room with his back turned to the screen. He is completely nude except for a bag covering his head. His arms are outstretched and he has three gashes on his back. A deep whispering sound is the only thing you hear from the video. Daniel stays silent standing in this position until 11:59 PM. The video ends at 12:00 AM the next morning.
Upon further investigation of this clip, the audio was increased intensely. The deep voice seems to repeat the phrase, "He comes", throughout the video.
V-Log #9. February 6th, 2014 3:13 PM
Zach is the one in this log. He is silent for about thirty seconds.
"So, I heard that Daniel was making these video logs and I just wanted to come and finalise them for him by telling everyone what happened.
Daniel was found lying in his room here a couple weeks ago. He was naked, and cut up pretty bad. They took him to the hospital and found that the wounds were self inflicted and that he had tried to kill himself. I haven't gone through these videos yet, but I know something has to be in here. I just wanted people to know that Daniel is in critical care."
Zach pauses for a few seconds as he starts to tear up
"They say that, the wounds...they were so deep and the blood loss was so drastic, that he won't survive. His body is rejecting all medication, and he isn't supposed to make it through the night."
Zach sobs for a few minutes before continuing
"Really, the hardest part about dealing with this, is that David passed away as well. About five months ago he dropped dead from a sudden brain aneurism. We tried to contact Daniel, but we couldn't get in touch with him.
I'm gonna find out what happened to you Daniel. I swear it."
He shuts off the camera
V-Log #10. February 7th, 2014 6:22 PM
Zach seems to be in a panic and rushing as he speaks
"Alright, so I watched all of his logs and something is fucked up. He never acted this way until he got into that game. I've tried to contact Joey but he won't return my calls. The reason I'm here now is because Daniel was like a brother to me, and I'm not about to move on without knowing the truth. Something happened when he played that game and I have to find out. I don't know what he saw or what he found, but I feel like it's connected to his death. I need to find it and that headset."
Zach gets up and rushes around the room. After eleven minutes, he finds the headset in the top of a closet and the game in a locked drawer. He seems to forget that the webcam is still on as we assume he starts up the game. He puts on the headset and headphones and immediately starts to scream. The webcam audio is muted, but Zach seems to be terrified and rips off the headset. As soon as he takes it off, the lights go out and the video cuts off.
V-Log #11. February 7th, 2014 7:05 PM
The room is barely visible through the darkness and Zach isn't in sight. At 7:06 PM, the door to the room slowly opens revealing the silhouette of a young man in what seems to be a hospital gown. After about thirty seconds, the figure slowly walks over toward the bed as the room becomes flooded with light.
Daniel is now visible and he stands motionless facing the bed. As he leans over, bloodstains become visible on the back of his gown and grow larger as the minutes pass. On the bed, mangled to a point of almost no recognition, is Zach's body. The blue and white shirt is the only indication of him. Daniel starts laughing maniacally. His body starts to contort unnaturally; his bones start breaking; he leans back and walks on his hands and feet toward the screen. His eyes are pitch black and his mouth in a devilish grin. He laughs for a few seconds before the deep voice erupts from his mouth and says only two words,
These videos have been continuously investigated with no real explanation as to what exactly happened in these logs. The only facts that have been recovered from the crime scene are:
- Daniel apparently used coding and files from the information sent to him by the creators of Amnesia - The Dark Descent within the game he created.
- Daniel's mother has been put in a mental hospital after a sudden attempt of suicide regarding her son's passing.
- Zach's body had multiple gashes similar to the ones seen on Daniel's back
- Daniel's whereabouts are still unknown.