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Brown Note / Web Original

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  • Episode three of The Black Tapes podcast is about the Unsound. It's supposed to be the sound of an Archdemon beckoning the listener to invite it into their world, and anyone who listens to it is supposed to die within a year.
  • Brennus: The story arc Shrouded in Dread is all about the New Lenston heroes fighting a villain calling herself Hastur (she named herself after the literary character), whose power causes anyone who sees her face to go violently insane, undergo really nasty Body Horror, and eventually die painfully. They manage to fight her anyway with some high-tech goggles, but not before she causes a lot of death and destruction. It's one of the darkest story lines in a story that's not exactly all that optimistic to begin with.
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  • Parodied in College Saga, as singing a corny song is the only possibility to defeat the Chocolate Tree.
  • Creepypasta:
    • Smile.jpg, an image of a dog that causes the viewer to have bizarre nightmares. In case you're wondering what it looks like and are resistant to the Shmuck Bait, it's a picture of a husky with demonic eyes and a photoshopped grin on its face. Said nightmares involve the dog telling you to spread the word, meaning that you have to send it to someone else in order to stop the nightmares.
    • The "full version" of the Creepypasta video "Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv" is said to drive the viewer to insanity.
  • Parodied (we hope!) by The Cynical Brit, who once jokingly remarked that "YouTube comments gave [him] cancer."
  • The Choir from The Fear Mythos can distort sounds... and make them shatter glass, rupture eardrums, and hemorrhage people's brains. Luckily, most of the time they seem content to simply drive you to suicide, but if you piss them off...
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  • Goodbye Strangers and the Fearful Frontier: Many of the eponymous Strangers have effects on people simply by being in their presence. For instance, contact with the gazedrene causes a spike in violence and aggression around it, and those who live with the quiet simdroni will grow more and more antisocial until they lose their ability to communicate altogether.
  • In Kid Time Storytime, this is parodied in the video for Once Upon a Zzz. Corny and Hooty try to read the title but fall asleep, so Maleficent thinks that it's black magic.
  • Roko's basilisk — the idea of a superintelligent A.I. in the future that retroactively punishes those who knew of its existence and did nothing to help it come to fruition (you, dear Troper) — is a rather esoteric example originating on Less Wrong. A Real Life example to some futurists and singularitarians, leading to it being banned from Less Wrong's forums.
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  • The Message: The titular Message is one. It's included in the podcast before anyone figures it out, but it doesn't always take effect.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The Doug theme tune is a Brown Note for the Critic. He calls the resulting brain tumor "Pork Chop".
  • The Onion:
    • "New Study Too Frightening To Release". A scientific study whose contents must be suppressed or the knowledge within would likely cause "the total breakdown of societal order, including the abandonment of the current political and economic system, rioting, looting, mass suicide and, quite possibly, global thermonuclear war." The head of the team investigating then killed himself, and many of the other researchers "cannot be accounted for".
    • "The Onion Reviews Gravity" begins with the revelation that the film drives anyone who watches it Ax-Crazy, which the reviewer demonstrates by, amongst other insane behavior, stripping off his shirt and expressing a desire to eat the lead actors alive. It ends with him attacking and murdering the cameraman.
  • Orion's Arm:
    • Neuro-fractal patterns can induce all sorts of reactions from calmness to nausea. In some places fractals that promote immune health are used to prevent populations from getting sick.
    • Thus providing (cold) comfort to fans of Langford and his basilisks. In fact, Orion's Arm also features the Medusa Fractal. A hypothetical mathematical figure which... sets up a feedback loop in the brain... sending them into a permanent catatonic state. It is also sometimes referred to as a "flatline fractal" or (after the Julia set it is said to resemble) "the brain-eating basilisk".
  • The SCP Foundation has so many that it has its own page.
  • In H-M Brown's Shell, using some type of filtration method like a peep hole or a television to see the Eldritch Abomination, will still lead you to madness.
  • The Slender Man Mythos: The Slender Man's presence causes Alien Geometries, an Incurable Cough of Death, Laser-Guided Amnesia, insanity, paranoia and death of the suicidal variety, assuming He (or one of his proxies) doesn't kill you himself.
  • An Easter Egg in the Sonic Shorts collection volume 2 features an extremely terrifying version of the Tails Doll that allegedly causes grown men to scream like a little girl. Watch at your risk! And then, he comes back in the fifth one. Enjoy!
  • In Star Harbor Nights, a close-up look at the insanity causing molecule in Rhyme's blood at just the right angle causes viewers to scream until they pass out.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Sonic weapons are common, but ones which cause serious injury (as opposed to disorientation or nausea) are illegal in most places because they aren't directional and cause too much collateral damage.
    • Jericho's wardrobe. In order to distract people from his teammates' inhuman appearances, he deliberately wears clothing so garish, mis-matched, and ugly that it can cause those who see him to be nauseated. He's even weaponized the effect: his 'undershirt of doom' once stopped two armed mercenaries in their tracks.