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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Haunted 2005
Whittier's final story was what the Nightmare Box showed its victims.
We know that the box convinced people that their lives were infinitely false, and all suffering was irrelevant. Perhaps somehow it implanted the same idea into them that Whittier used in his story: people only exist on Earth to "polish" themselves for the afterlife. But in real life, instead of being a joyous reason to die quickly, knowing this caused people to become numb and apathetic.
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