I’m writing this as a warning to others. There are a lot of strange things on the internet, and not all these things are safe. I doubt many of you will believe me, or take my warning seriously, but if it saves just one person, it will be worth it.
A couple of months ago, me and my friend Jay were smoking a few joints and watching YouTube videos in his room as we often do in the evenings (his parents are a little cooler about us having a smoke than mine are). It was all the usual fare, fail videos, comedy sketches, music videos; same old same old. Then we came across a video called ‘Where’s Ian?’
It was a strange video, that had us laughing uncontrollably at the style and slightly pointless nature of the video. I will describe what it consisted of now:
The video began with a landscape, the title, a rainbow and the face of Ian. It was introduced by a voice-over, done in the style of a children’s TV presenter, and scored with a cheery kids TV type tune. The whole video just consisted of shots of ‘Ian’, looking around corners and popping out of doorways as the narrator asked ‘Where’s Ian?’ It lasted about a minute and then it ended.
We looked at each other once it was over, as we couldn’t believe how odd this video was. We just presumed it was someone’s inside joke, that no one else would get, but we couldn’t help watching it again, it was just too funny. The second time we watched it, we laughed even harder. We were mimicking the presenter and cheering every time he ‘found’ Ian. We decided to watch it a third time, and this is where things took an even stranger turn.
The third time we watched the video, it began as usual, but then the
screen seemed to glitch (not something uncommon on YouTube). The video
froze, distorted slightly, and then started playing again. Now however,
the video was playing in black and white, and the contrast was all
wrong. Everything in the video looked dark and sinister. It seemed to
have slowed down too, as the narrators voice now sounded slow and rather
creepy. Jay tried to refresh the page, but all the buttons had frozen,
so we just watched.
As the video ended, a dialogue box popped up asking ‘Do you want to find Ian?’ with YES and NO below it. We presumed this was just an encouragement to subscribe to the video makers channel; as many people put at the end of their videos. They seemed to only have this one video, so Jay just tried to close the box, but it wouldn’t close. He tried closing the browser, but that wouldn’t close either. So he clicked ‘NO’. The dialogue box didn’t close, but simply changed to the slightly more forceful ‘Find Ian!’ again, with YES and NO. Jay clicked NO again. This time it came back with ‘FIND IAN, OR IAN WILL FIND YOU!’ This time there was only a ‘YES’ button. We were both getting a little freaked out now so Jay just shut down the computer. When he restarted it, everything seemed fine, but we decided to watch a DVD on the TV rather than spend more time online. I left about 12:30 and headed home.
In the morning, I headed out to meet Jay to catch the bus to college,
he looked terrible. I asked him what was wrong and he said he hadn’t
slept well. He seemed nervous and on edge, so I pestered him till he
told me what was wrong. He said that every time he had started to fall
asleep he was sure he heard the narrators voice from the video saying
I started to laugh, but the look on his face stopped me. I asked if he was serious and he said he was. As the day went on, he started to shrug it off. We discussed it more at lunch and decided that we had probably both smoked too much the previous night. Jay had relaxed by the time we were heading home. We were going to hang out, but Jay said he was tired and was going to get an early night, so I headed home.
We didn’t mention any of this to anyone, for fear of being thought crazy, and also, because we didn’t really think it was anything. We were wrong.
That night, the video was playing on my mind. I decided to do some
research. I tried to look up the video again, hoping to find some
answers, but the channel had completely gone. I was sure the channel
name had been ‘WeFind’, but it returned no results in any search engine,
or on YouTube its self. I did, however, come across the video on
another channel. This appeared to be just a normal YouTube channel, but
something disturbed me in the description of the video here. It said ‘In
memory of Ian. Come back soon bro.’
I messaged the channel owner to ask for more information on the video. I said I had seen it on another channel and just wondered what the story behind it was. He replied within an hour and after thanking me for my interest, he explained it was just some shots he edited together after doing some filming and then narrated as a joke. He also asked what channel I had seen it on, as he hadn’t given permission for it to be used by anyone else.
I messaged him back with the name of the channel and asked what had happened to Ian. He immediately messaged me back telling me to unlink, delete and destroy my YouTube account. This unnerved me, and I asked why. He said that Ian had gone missing not long after the video was first posted. There had been comments left on the page by the user ‘WeFind’ saying that he was going to ‘Find Ian.’ The last comment was left just after he vanished, it just said ‘Found him.’
I explained that it hadn’t been my account we were signed in on, it was my friend’s. He messaged me back for the final time, with the simple message ‘Warn him, now.’
I tried to message him back, but it looked like I had been blocked. I immediately tried to ring Jay, but I got no answer. It had got quite late by now, and I presumed he was asleep, but I was still worried, so I called his house phone. His mum answered and was surprised to hear me on the other end of the phone. She cheerfully said that it wasn’t like me to call the house phone, and asked why I wasn’t phoning Jay’s mobile. I told her he hadn’t been feeling that great at college and I didn’t want to disturb him, so I was just checking he was OK. She said he had gone to bed early, but she was just about to head upstairs anyway, so she would check on him. She stayed on the phone as she went, asking me how the course was going, I heard her start to open the door, and then heard her flicking on the light and calling his name. I quickly said not to disturb him if he’s sleeping, but her voice was becoming louder and more concerned. She came back on the line and said that he wasn’t in his room. I told her I was coming over and hung up before she could say no.
Jay’s house is only two streets away from mine, and I was there
quickly. His parents began questioning me about where he could be or who
he could be with. I told them he would have told me if he was planning
to leave. As his mum began phoning the police, I went into his room. His
shoes were by the bed, his coat was on the chair, his phone was on the
bedside table. There is no way he would have left without these things.
Then my phone bleeped, telling me I had a voicemail, even though my
phone hadn’t rang. I hit the button and listened. I heard Jay, crying,
and saying over and over ‘Ian found me. Ian found me.’.
I ran to his parents and tried to play the message again, but it had gone. I told them, and the police, all about the video, and the messages. They said they would look into it, but they didn’t seem convinced.
A couple of days passed and we heard nothing. We put up fliers, rang
everyone he knew. I even tried to contact the maker of the video, but he
blocked every account I set up as soon as I messaged him. Then I got
two emails. They were both just titled ‘Watch’ and the sender was
I didn’t want to watch, I was terrified, but I had to know what happened. Reluctantly, I clicked the first email, the only content was a link. Every part of me was screaming not to click it, the title of the video was ‘Here’s Ian’.
As the video began, I started to think the link hadn’t worked. The screen was just black, but then I realised I could hear breathing. The screen suddenly brightened as a static filled monitor in the video lit up. With the weak but adequate light the monitor gave off, I immediately recognised the room as being Jay’s bedroom. The camera zoomed out, and I could see Jay, asleep in bed. The person behind the camera began to talk, in the same distorted voice we had heard on the video the third time. ‘Wheeeerrrreeees Iannnnnnn, wheeeeerrrrrrreeeees Iannnnnnnnn?’ I saw Jay move in the bed, then sit up, he looked at the camera, his face filled with terror, as he tried to get up from the bed, something truly horrifying happened. A mass of long thin arms burst up from below his bed, pinning him down. The voice continued ‘Wheeerrrrrreeees Iannnnnnnnn?’
I watched in terror, unable to move or scream out as the images filled the screen. I was so focused on the mass of inhuman arms pinning Jay to the bed, I didn’t notice the figure starting to rise slowly from the floor of the room in front of the hissing monitor. As it broke the light that was being cast, I turned my attention to it, as it reached full height, the man behind the camera said ‘There he is, there’s Ian.’ The figure was jerking lightly and making faint noises, I thought at first it was laughing, but as Ian spoke, I realised he was crying.
Through the sobs, I could hear him say, in Jay’s direction, that he
was sorry, that he didn’t want to. That they were making him do this.
That they make him do terrible things. That they would make Jay do
terrible things too.
As he spoke, he was raising his arms in front of him, they began to stretch, the bones in his arms were audibly snapping as they elongated to inhuman lengths. Ian’s shadowy figure was screaming in pain as he reached out towards the bed and as his now talon-like fingers grabbed hold of Jay, the voice behind the camera said in an horrible whisper ‘There you go, there you go.’ And the video ended.
I just sat there, frozen, unable to think or move. After what felt like hours, but was only seconds, I clicked on the second email (I had to see what was there) the link took me to a YouTube page. A page where there was only one video. It was titled ‘Where’s Jay?’