-> ''[[ArcWords In any city, in any country, go to any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to.]]''

The Holders series are several short stories about 538 objects which, if brought together, will cause the TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. There were originally 2538 objects, but 2000 of them were lost.

Each object is protected by a Holder, who presents a series of trials to anyone who seeks its object. Failing on any of these trials, [[DisproportionateRetribution no matter how insignificant your failure was]], earns you a FateWorseThanDeath.[[note]]Depending on your perspective, ''succeeding'' may earn you a FateWorseThanDeath.[[/note]]

Each of the stories details the exact sequence of steps you need to retrieve one of the objects. Most of them start with you going to a specific kind of place (often a "mental institution or halfway house") and asking to speak to the Holder of the object you want. You are then guided to a hidden section of the building, where after several trials you will meet the Holder, who will only answer one question (which is different for each Holder).

Originally from the {{Imageboards}}, can be found at several places on the Internet, one of them being [[http://www.theholders.org theholders.org]]. Another version, and the one many saw due to it being reported on ''{{WebSite/Snopes}}'', is [[https://web.archive.org/web/20120810181936/http://thekingofwolves.webs.com/index.htm this one]], which also contains equally insane NightmareFuel "Easter eggs".



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!! This series provides examples of:

* AbandonedHospital
* AdaptationExpansion: The first Holders story implies that all 538 Holders and their Objects are identical, hence the reason they can be accessed from any asylum or halfway house: the Holders are distributed throughout the world, and there's always one nearby. However, this was not explicitly stated, and subsequent stories, written by different authors, continued on the premise that all the Holders and Objects were different and operated by different rules.
* AffectionateParody: [[http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Holder_of_Fluffy_Kittens The Holder of Fluffy Kittens.]]
* AfterlifeExpress: The trial of the Holder of [[http://theholders.org/?Holder_of_Detachment Detachment]] takes place both on an elderich train station and the otherworldly train that (eventually) arrives there for you.
* AlienGeometries: Most Holders are found in places within a building which cannot physically be there.
* TheAirNotThere: Painfully averted by [[http://www.theholders.org/?Holder_of_the_Speed The Holder of Speed.]]
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: [[spoiler: The Seeker of [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Envy The Holder of Envy]] eventually becomes the new Holder.]]
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Most of the stories are written as instructions, as if given to the reader by a MysteriousBenefactor. However, [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Denial this]] story takes the perspective of one of the receptionists for the Holders. The story plays with the usual OnceAnEpisode events of the other stories: the Seekers the character sees that demand for the Holder of Denial are impatient, screaming at her until she sends them through the door ([[ButThouMust likely because that's what the instructions said to do in this case]]), and are thrown off when she puts her foot down, and demands they ask her politely ([[OffTheRails since THAT part wasn't in the instructions]]). Compared to the other receptionists (who are inferred to be [[DevilInDisguise demons in the guise of humans]], or at least [[LesCollaborateurs people that know about the Objects, Holders and Seekers]]), the character is a NaiveEverygirl who doesn't know what happens to the Seekers she sends through the door. [[spoiler: And when one comes back out, Object in tow, '''she's''' the one to [[PhraseCatcher "Ask only one question"]] at the end of the adventure, and it's the Seeker, not the Holder, to give a [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow madness-inducing monologue of all the horrors the quest for the object entails]]. A huge TearJerker, (especially when this Seeker [[BreakTheCutie tells in grisly detail the fate of all the other Seekers before him]], and [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone made the character realize she unwittingly condemned them all to]] AFateWorseThanDeath), and also holds a nasty bit of FridgeHorror - [[SpannerInTheWorks if somebody has grabbed an Object before you]], [[ParanoiaFuel is there ANY hope of escaping the trials]]?]]
* ArtifactOfDoom: (2)538 of them
* BodyHorror
* BrownNote: More than a handful of scenes and creatures in the trials are described as beyond normal human comprehension. And then, of course, there are the answers the Holders give.
* CharmPerson: If you seceded in getting object 346, you become one. Only side effect is the tumor on your throat.
** Object 291 also makes you a CharmPerson- but [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment it attracts salespeople to you like mad, forever]].
* TheChosenOne: Mentioned in object 48, 90 and 92.
* ClingyMacGuffin: An Object cannot be thrown away, it will always come back
* CosmicHorrorStory: The series as a whole.
* CreepyChild: The two boys of the Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Color Color]], one of who will kill by touching his skin, and who looking into his eyes will drive you to madness.
* {{Determinator}}: You must become this to collect all of the objects.
** Hell, even just collecting ONE object requires an excellent memory and probably some amazing concentration and physical skill. Managing to do it over 500 times is inhuman.
*** Of course, by that time, you probably are ''literally'' [[HumanoidAbomination inhuman]]
* EldritchAbomination: Edo Edi Essum.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What will happen if they are brought together
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: Edo Edi Essum is described as a "living black hole". He absorbs the life of anything that he is near, and his voice causes all who hear it to [[FateWorseThanDeath die screaming in agony as they become a part of him for all of eternity]]. Once he devours the entire universe, he will devour himself. Also, he is trying to bring all of the Objects together.
* EyeScream: The Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Light Light]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: If you fail any of the trials (and sometimes even if you succeed)
* FinalExamBoss: Taken to an extreme level with The Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?Holder_of_the_Journey the Journey]]: To start the test, you must tell the worker how you obtained each of your Objects. It's not so much a test of memory as it is a test of resolve, seeing as you'll remember every detail without flaw... the problem is more that it forces you to reflect on every atrocity you've inevitably committed to obtain the Objects before this one. It even outright ''says'' that unless you're a monster, you'll feel like your heart's been torn out once you finally finish.
* TheFinalTemptation: The Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Remorse Remorse]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: What will happen from hearing the Holder's answer to the correct question unless your mind is strong enough
* GottaCatchEmAll: Doubly subverted. They must never be brought together. That doesn't stop the Seekers from trying, though.
* GottaKillThemAll: Subverted as a method of preventing disaster. If all of them are destroyed, they'll "unite in the destroyed state".
* IgnoredAesop: The receptionist in the [[http://www.theholders.org/?The_Holder_of_Denial Denial]] story apparently still [[spoiler:sometimes presses the button even after learning that it condemns innocent people to AFateWorseThanDeath]]. Yeah... [[NiceJobBreakingItHero good job doing that...]]
* LuckBasedMission: A number of the trials may still result in your death (or worse) even if you follow them exactly. An example is the Holder of the End - if he decides to stop muttering, you might be able to get him to start up again. If not? Run and pray.
** May be a variation of OnlyTheWorthyMayPass - some of the instructions imply that Seekers may be chosen by destiny, and so the "luck"-based missions may just depend solely on your chosen-ness rather than luck or skills.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe[=/=]ShieldsAreUseless: Object 41. "Pray that it can protect you from what is to come."
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Edo Edi Essum" is Latin for "to eat", "to devour", or "to waste".
** Jack Empty may not seem like that scary of a name, until you realize that he's actually ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: The Sephiron
* OnceAnEpisode: The "In any city, in any country" line (usually with "any mental institution or halfway house you can get yourself to", but with other locations as well), asking the receptionist (or somebody else, even the thin air) to "[[ArcWords See the Holder of X]]", enter a place with AlienGeometries, go through a LuckBasedMission (or one where OnlyTheWorthyMayPass), risk AFateWorseThanDeath if anything goes wrong ([[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose and sometimes even if you "succeed"]]), and finding the Holder of the Object you seek, who only responds to one question (saying anything other than the exact question either gets no response, or a FateWorseThanDeath), and [[{{Monologuing}} gives a monologue]] [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow detailing everything there is to know about]] [[ArtifactOfDoom the Object in question]], [[GoMadFromTheRevelation most likely driving all but the strongest minds to madness when they hear it]]. Also ends with the words "[[ArcWords That X is Object # of 538]]", [[TheStinger along with an ominous ending line]].
** Some of the ending lines make it plainly obvious that you don't actually want to even get that object, since they have horrible side-effects or weird curses.
* RedRightHand: A lot of the Objects cause some kind of physical mutation or mutilation.
* ShoutOut: The Holder of [[http://theholders.org/?Holder_of_Time Time]] is [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]].
** Among other things, you will encounter [[ThePrincessBride rodents of unusual size]] if you seek The Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?Holder_of_Compassion Compassion]].
* SuperpowerLottery: Played with- all of the objects are cursed and aren't supposed to give you face-on superpowers, but while some ''are'' utterly useless and mundane, others can be useful to the extent of what supernatural ability or knowledge you're granted from them. But whatever power they give was still probably not worth the hell you endured to get it.
* TranslatorMicrobes: Object 195, a coin that allows you speak, read, write, and understand all languages while you keep it under your tongue, in addition to letting you [[SpeaksFluentAnimal speak animal]] and understand all codes and cyphers.
* VengefulVendingMachine: To get to the Holder of [[http://www.theholders.org/?Holder_of_the_Sun the Sun]], you need to go to the vending machine (the worker at the front desk will have gotten a phone call immediately after you ask to see him) and press the button for the first drink displayed. The unmarked can you get will be hot to the touch, and the liquid will be searingly hot- if you drink enough to loose consciousness before the worker finishes his phone call, you can go the hard part of the challenge, and probably suffer a horrible fate. At least you didn't have to insert any money.
* WomanInWhite: The Holder of Color, as well as the Holder of Seekers.
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt: The very last Object and its Holder.
* YouWillKnowWhatToDo: "Will you X when the time comes?" is a quite popular phrase used in the endings of most Holders entries.
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