A few months ago, I started watching YouTube channels every night before bed. Mostly, it’s been explorations of abandoned places, histories of video games and 80s pop culture, and all sorts of weird amusement park stuff that I never thought I’d love, but can’t get enough of.
At some point, I came across a channel called Night Mind. This dude does magnificent deep dives into all sorts of Internet Weirdness, with a focus on ARGs and unfiction. In fact, the first video posted to the channel is all about my first and favorite creepypasta YouTube series, Marble Hornets.
Real quick: Shortly after the Slender Man myth was created, some brilliant filmmakers took the idea and ran with it to create their own found footage series. I’d never seen anything like it, and I was OBSESSED. It was called Marble Hornets and it ran for three seasons. You have probably divided yourselves into two groups, now. Half of you are like OMG MARBLE HORNETS I LOVED THAT and the other half are like I have no idea what you’re talking about.
After Marble Hornets, my life took me in a direction that veered away from internet creepypasta. I’ve been catching up on what I missed, via Night Mind.
Last night, I saw a relatively recent upload about a new found footage webseries called The Backrooms. I started watching it, veered off of Night Mind and to the source (as suggested by Night Mind’s host, Nick Nocturne), and an hour later I was like WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WATCH HOLY SHIT.
As of about an hour ago, I am caught up (mostly) on the current Liminal Space deal that creepypasta kids are exploring. It’s fascinating and squarely in my wheelhouse. The Backrooms is terrifying, if you allow yourself to buy into the story, which of course I did because it’s fun.
Okay. So. I know that for people who are plugged into whatever the current Internet Hotness is, this is all very old news. I guess the Liminal Space deal has been happening for awhile, and this video I’m about to link to was released in January of this year, making it ancient in Internet time.
Here is the original film, The Backrooms (found footage)
You can watch the entire thing, including all the uploads, in around an hour. Now, I know there’s some show you spend an hour watching that doesn’t deserve your time (I’m looking at you, Reality TV) that always leaves you feeling a little unsatisfied, like you gorged yourself on a Wonka Bar and now you are still hungry. If you are nodding along with me, GO TO NIGHT MIND AND START THERE LIKE I DID.
This series is magnificent, and if stuff like this makes your brain light up in the right places, you will LOVE Night Mind (presuming you don’t know about it already).
This morning, I have wandered around lots of Internet I don’t usually visit, reading about and learning more about The Backrooms and the Liminal Space stuff. It’s deeply satisfying, kind of tickles my imagination, and is tremendously engaging. If you like the same things I like, I think you’ll be real glad you spent some time checking this out.
Oh, and one last thing: the guy who created and directed this stuff, Kane Pixels, is sixteen years-old.
14 thoughts on “The Backrooms and Night Mind”
Unbelievable work in its own right, absolutely mind blowing that a 16 year old did this
If you haven’t been watching Severance, I’m seeing a lot of people raise Backrooms in relation to it.
Thank you so much, that was fabulous. I got lost and not sure I’ve made my way out!
Oh my word I love creepy stuff like that I will have to check it out!
Artistically, I am fascinated by the difference I imagine between what it is like to watch that on a screen versus being there in real life. The geometry of the place is fascinating, but watching it through someone else’s eyes instills a fear I don’t have. I paused it just now because I wanted to say something about my reaction. I wanted to run toward the robot, or whatever it was that was coming. I wished I could have told the person who was running away not to. I mean it was the first sign of a way out, when that seemed to be what they were looking for.
I can see myself as a kid. I suffered neglect as a child. In response, I went out into the natural world. I was always in some field. I let it teach me what I wasn’t getting from my parents. I used to say to people that I lived an entire life from the ages of say, 0 to 6 or 7. Then, another one began. Anyway, when I was a kid I learned not to fear nature. They meant it as kind of the thing I should be afraid of, so that I would embrace them even though they neglected me.
It brings to mind something my mother tried to pull on me once, when she was giving me and my siblings a ride somewhere. We were probably a few miles from home. I complained to her about something. She stopped the car and told me I could just get out and find my own way. She figured I would be afraid. I wasn’t. I called her bluff, and opened the door. She backtracked so fast I was completely surprised. I fully expected to walk home from there. I tried to insist.
Contextual shift: the pursuing creature was really just trying to help. But a bit of a klutz. While reaching out to shake hands he quite accidentally pushed the kid off of the ledge and into free-fall.
As the constructivists will say, perception is everything.
There was a recent version of this I saw on FB that centered around getting lost in a maze of back rooms at a hotel/convention center where there was supposed to be a small nerdy con going on. Go the wrong way, take a “short cut,” and all of a sudden you’re in this weird back world that’s part industrial, part set up for something about to begin or just ended, and no one is around. Stairwells you’re pretty sure you shouldn’t be in and the door might lock behind you, weird half level floors, etc. Was a good series, and I’m sure having been in enough small hotels and cons that you would probably understand the feeling and where it came from!
I’ve been watching YT stuff at night a lot since the lockdown started (I used to only watch every other day or so, depending on a few channel’s release schedules). Most of what I watch is game (MechWarrior Online or Tarkov right now) or anime-based stuff, but I do like Defunctland’s stuff. Other than that, mostly been watching a few folks in Japan (Chris Broad, Sharla, etc.) and some onsen videos. I will have to give this a look see when I have some time this weekend.
Re: the first clip, it’s interesting how the opening scene (the kids filming) emulates what then happens to the camerman. Minus the monkey mask, of course. Also, Carl Jung would love this.
Interpretation: when the camera kid backs up at the beginning, he is unwittingly struck by a passing vehicle. Thump!! He isn’t paying attention.
The consequent experience is his brain moving through its final shut-down processes, organizing and purging through a (short) lifetime of various cognitive-psychological constructs, specifically represented by multiple linked, symmetrical rooms, and conceptually similar to files in a file cabinet. Hence the title of the piece. This particular experience is unconsciously chosen courtesy of too many hours of playing “Doom” a la 1995.
The pursuing creature represents the inevitable and terminal finality that is immediately at hand.The “free falling” experience at the end is a first-person perceptual distortion/ representation of him as he is being thrown by the car, and the final shot is where he lies.
The whole event occurs objectively in mere seconds but is subjectively played out, thanks to time distortion, over several minutes.
I love your interpretations. A huge part of my enjoyment of things like this, like SCP, like most creepypasta, is when we who are in the audience for it get to add our on contributions to the lore.
Always been a big fan of games like Mage the Ascension and Awakening, so this is not only is this stuff I really love, but will pay homage to (shamelessly rip off) in the future. Really enjoy Nightmind as a way of finding and seeing some of the best material among this genre.
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