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WE BEGIN OUR BROADCAST DAY
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LOCAL58 is a Web Original horror series by Kris Straub of Chainsawsuit. The videos, which are presented in the form of found footage and emergency alerts from the (fictitious) US local TV station, Local 58 (WCLV-TV), paint a picture of a station and a broadcast area where things are wrong, but the exact details of which are still forthcoming. Wild Mass Guessing abounds.

The videos so far are:

  • Weather Service, uploaded 26 October 2015. An overnight weather warning for a rather unusual meteorological event.
  • Contingency, uploaded 12 January 2016. A Johnson-era PSA from the Department for the Preservation of American Dignity to be shown in the event the United States was conquered conventionally by an enemy force, and ordering all American citizens to commit suicide.
  • You Are On The Fastest Available Route, uploaded 19 June 2016. Dashcam footage with accompanying GPS audio, taken over roughly three and a half hours in the early morning of 21 November 2014.
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  • Show For Children, uploaded 30 July 2018. A black-and-white cartoon called "Cadavre" that was published in 1929, about the titular character looking to find his loved one.
  • A Look Back, a montage of “WCLV-TV” station identifications from the 1960s to the present day, only to be interrupted by a second party hack, with a cryptic message (also showing two-three second snippets of the previous videos, and a few unrelated videos) making it a de facto trailer for the channel.
  • Real Sleep, uploaded 19 December 2018. A cult-esque instructional video informing the viewer about the truth of dreams and how to achieve real sleep.

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This show provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Weather Service: Natural disasters and disease, mistrust in the media.
    • Contingency: There are fates worse than death, foreign enemy occupation, government-sanctioned mass killing.
    • You Are On The Fastest Available Route: Not only is our technology unreliable, it can be actively subverted by those who want to harm us.
    • Show For Children: Death is inexorable and comes for us all.
  • Alternate History: Apparently President Lyndon B. Johnson oversaw a contingency broadcast in the event of America's downfall that encouraged the nation to commit mass suicide. It appears to have accidentally aired during his term, unless the message was unchanged but tested in its original format in the modern world anyway. Nevermind that the expiration date on the film was timed to Friday, November 13, 1970... and the Freeze-Frame Bonus of one of the moon landings, all of which took place after LBJ would have left office. That said, it seems to be several clips edited together, including one for 1975 and one for 2016.
  • Animalistic Abomination: In “Show For Children”, Cadavre the skeleton finds something like this within the second pit. It seems to be a fossil with a bird’s beak and a cat’s sound.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • In Weather Service, Societal Disruption over an unknown area - arguably Species Extinction, as what's left behind isn't quite human.
    • In Contingency, unknown - but so bad that the US government thinks Regional Species Extinction (national mass suicide) is preferable (or some prankster is trying to get people to believe that). Either:
      • the enemy is a conventional one and the US government is ordering its citizens to die out of sheer national pride, in which case the horror comes from that, or
      • the threat genuinely is so awful that self-genocide is preferable, in which case the horror comes from the thought of what it might be. This is likely the case if one assumes that all three installments share the same setting.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The County Weather Service alert in Weather Service becomes this.
  • Alien Invasion: "Weather Service" indicates that the invading force is, at the very least, coming from beyond Earth.
  • Arc Symbol: The moon features in all of the shorts in some capacity.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Contingency strongly implies that national collective suicide is preferable to whatever would have caused that PSA to be broadcast.
  • Big Bad: As far as the videos show, the moon itself is an Eldritch Abomination that is driving humans to madness.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Contingency, in a weird way. The PSA recommends that you adopt "the Victory Position" and reminds you that children and pets are "the smallest patriots". Nationalism under those circumstances would be funny if the context weren't so horrible.
    • You Are On The Fastest Available Route features a GPS being somehow possessed by some sort of unseen monster. When the unseen and unwitting victim "arrives at their destination", they are greeted by a loud roar. The screen pixelates and the next shot is of them driving away really really fast.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: In "Real Sleep", the Thought Research Initiative is reprogramming your mind to perceive no visual or auditory stimuli (i.e. dreams) during sleep under the assumed premise of higher mental functioning.
  • Brown Note: Whatever the thing in Weather Service is, simply seeing it infects you.
    • Real Sleep seems to be deliberately invoking this trope in-universe, as the tape itself acts as one to purge the viewer's mind of dreams. It's implied that the only reason it doesn't have a Brown Note effect on us is that we're not the person the tape was customized for.
  • Call-Back: Show For Children ends with Cadavre in the "Victory Position" from Contingency, looking up at the moon referenced in Weather Service. Which kills him. Nightmare Expo theorizes that it's actually a Call-Forward, albeit to a fake event.
    • After Cadavre escapes the second grave, the skeleton shown in the first grave is briefly overlaid on the gravestones as it fades out to the next scene.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: If "Show For Children" and "Real Sleep" are anything to go by, the United States was not conducive to one's mental health to begin with.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Human civilization is at the mercy of some incomprehensible, extraterrestrial force that uses the moon as a vessel, and those who look at it will Go Mad from the Revelation. "Real Sleep" demonstrates this even further, revealing that even dreaming will not save you from its influence.
  • Creepily Long Arms: The creature in You Are On The Fastest Available Route has these.
  • Crossover: Cadavre from Children's Show is a character from Broodhollow, one of Kris's webcomics.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Which the PSA from Contingency advises you to avoid through suicide. The PSA is from the "Department for the Preservation of American Dignity".
  • Darkness = Death: As You Are On The Fastest Available Route progresses, the driver follows their GPS onto steadily less and less lit, populated roads. They are indeed implied to die.
  • Daylight Horror: In "Contingency", tranquil footage of nature and urban landscapes accompanies an emergency broadcast urging you to commit suicide.
    • "Real Sleep", unlike the other broadcasts, is explicitly shown to be taking place at three o'clock in the afternoon. Justified, as it’s effects are intended to occur during sleep, which would be useless while people are already asleep.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The PSA in Contingency urges Americans to "ACT" and to "TAKE THE FINAL AND GREATEST LIBERTY OF ALL" — but about halfway through openly recommends a loaded firearm placed against the roof of the mouth, after which point the euphemisms are mostly dispensed with.
  • Death Is the Only Option: The US government in Contingency certainly believes so. Why is unclear, though perhaps to deny the enemy either satisfaction or slaves, leading to the occupation potentially falling apart if not all Americans committed suicide. Given that Lyndon B. Johnson is mentioned, it probably has something to do with the Soviet Union or China conquering the United States (whether via conventional means or if the USA was forced to surrender after a nuclear war, as in First Strike), and the mentality of "better dead than red".
  • Defiant to the End: What the US government asks of its citizens in Contingency.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In Show For Children.
  • Deliberate VHS Quality: Adding to the authenticity of the videos actually being from this time period.
  • Dem Bones: Cadavre in Show for Children is a walking skeleton.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The third party on the County Weather Service alert in Weather Service, who adopts a calm, almost reassuring tone.
    • The relaxing nature footage in Contingency.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The driver in You Are On The Fastest Available Route eventually ends up in the woods. They never make it out.
  • Dream Weaver: Actively discouraged by the Thought Research Initiative in Real Sleep, who claim that dreaming is a "vestige of the primitive mind".
    • Cadavre existed solely in the dream world of one of the characters in Broodhollow. That he dies at the end of "A Grave Mistake" is not insignificant, especially when Real Sleep is arguably about the death of your ability to dream, in effect making it a Call-Forward.
  • Driven to Suicide: In Contingency, President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is asking the rest of the nation to follow him. Given that the broadcast was unintentional, followed by a "THIS IS A HOAX" message, it's clear that this didn't happen... but it could have.
    • Cadavre in Show For Children appears to resort to this in the end, as after shambling alone through the freezing cave he trudges over to the bottom of the grave he descended into, and lies motionless on the ground until the Moon kills him.
  • Dying as Yourself: What the US government may be trying to give its citizens in Contingency. The circumstances are unclear.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Whatever is going on with the moon, its presence is driving humanity into madness.
  • Eldritch Location: Local 58's broadcast area. Civilized enough to maintain an unremarkable broadcast station like Local 58, but this stuff keeps happening there. The station’s broadcast area includes Ichor Falls and Broodhollow — Straub's pre-existing horror project and webcomic, respectively.
  • Emergency Broadcast: Most of Weather Service takes the form of these, though only the first party works as intended.
  • Face Death with Dignity: What the US government asks of its citizens in Contingency.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Contingency. YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU TO SAY GOODBYE WITH PRIDE, and THE 51st STATE IS NOT A PLACE, and to a lesser extent the "HOAX" APOLOGY CARD at the very end, "IN CASE OF ACCIDENTAL PUBLIC BROADCAST DURING OFF-AIR REMOTE OPERATION RELAY TEST".
    • The clown statue at the introduction of the cartoon in "Show For Children" appears at the end of the cartoon too, except for a few milliseconds, the mouth is wider open and its eyes start to move. Specifically, towards YOU. Doubles as Special Effects Failure because the pupil on the left is falling off of the eye on the first frame. Which is actually scarier when you realize it was supposed to be a still image on a telop slide.
    • Most of the messages near the end of Real Sleep need to be freeze-framed or at least slowed down to be clearly readable.
    • The creature from You Are on the Fastest Available Route appears for barely a second at 2:47 before the dashcam distorts.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The third party on the County Weather Service alert seems to be in the beginning stages of this.
  • Haunted Technology: The GPS in You Are On The Fastest Available Route. Notable in that it's not clear if it's got its own haunting or if it's been hijacked by the thing.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • In Contingency, The Star Spangled Banner plays reasonably normally and as it should considering the footage's age. My Country, 'Tis of Thee on the other hand grows increasingly distorted as the broadcast goes on, becoming especially ominous as the broadcast begins to discuss The Victory Position and INFANTS AND PETS - THE SMALLEST PATRIOTS.
    • The tones in Real Sleep, as well as the Madness Mantra the computerised voice utters during the later phases.
      THERE ARE NO FACES.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: What the US government asks of its citizens in Contingency.
  • Homicide Machines: The GPS in "You Are On The Fastest Available Route" willingly directs the driver into the path of a monster and their inevitable doom.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Whatever the fuck was in the woods in You are on the Fastest Available Route.
  • Implied Death Threat: In Contingency right after telling all Americans they should kill themselves, the message shows that the police would come around to kill any civilian who hasn't already taken their own lives.
    YOUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS BEEN ORDERED TO ENSURE YOUR COMPLIANCE
    IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO DELAY
  • Inscrutable Aliens: Whatever is arriving in Weather Service is far beyond human understanding.
  • Light Is Not Good: The entity in Weather Service.
    Due to its brightness citizens are advised not to observe this event with the naked eye.
  • Lunacy: The moon is featured in all four shorts, which may or may not connect it to whatever Eldritch Abomination is causing all of this - Weather Service tells the audience not to look at the moon (until it does) as it would induce madness, Contingency has a split-second picture of one of the moon landings during its broadcast, You Are On The Fastest Available Route features a driver being led by his GPS right into a lethal ambush while driving at night with a moon shining down, and Show For Children prominently features a cartoon moon, complete with a face which seemingly makes Cadavre Deader Than Dead when it shines down on him at the end, due to Cadavre going from cartoon bones like before to a disturbingly realistic skeleton, like the skeleton that first scared him.
  • Madness Mantra: In Real Sleep:
    "THERE ARE NO FACES. THERE ARE NO FACES. THERE ARE NO FACES..."
    "TTHHHEEEEERRRREE AAAARRRREEE NNNNOOOOOO FFFAAAAAAAAACCCEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS..."'
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Disturbing as it is, the contingency broadcast appears to be a simple message created by the DPAD that got accidentally aired, but mentions of the 51st state and its general vagueness could imply that some supernatural thing is airing it, hoping to get Americans to commit suicide. Of course the latter could be done by America's human enemies too. It's likely the DPAD kept it vague in the event of America being overrun in general, so it could be anything from the Soviets to an alien or supernatural threat. The mention of a 51st state could imply a Brown Note is brainwashing Americans too, it's the name of a dangerous human faction or a simple implication that there is no other America to turn to and you have to follow the suicide pact.
    • And then there's the instructional video featured in Real Sleep. Is it a video produced and disseminated by the force led by the Eldritch Abomination masses that are causing the moon to kill people, or was it made by and for the US Military as a last-ditch effort to create soldiers capable of fighting against whatever's on the moon?
  • Meaningful Background Event: About two-thirds through Show For Children, the previously upbeat moon in the background is now solemn, staring sharply down at Cadavre, and just for a brief moment, the moon passes over a tree that is actually in the foreground.
    • The moon watches Cadavre peer down into the second grave.
  • Mind Screwdriver: To a lesser extent, the last card in Contingency serves as this. The broadcast was, or appears to have been, an accident during a mandatory check of the system that allows the DPAD to activate the message - someone at the station left the relay active during the test. That said, it does not explain why there is a canned message requiring all Americans to kill themselves.
  • Mirror Monster: "Weather Service" implies that the invading force can access them.
    AVOID MIRRORS
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The creature Cadavre finds in the second grave in "Show For Children". It appears to have the head of a bird, but the body of some sort of crustacean or an insect, and makes a sound vaguely like that of a mammal... what on earth is it?!
  • Nightmare Face: The corpse in "Show For Children" has very sharp, piercing eyes staring at the viewer as well as a gaping mouth withjagged, broken teeth, on top of being drawn realistically in comparison with the rest of the cartoon.
    • Later in the same short, there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus of a much more realistic moon, with the very edge of a much more realistic face on it — we glimpse part of a single eye, no more.
    • A flurry of these are shown in Real Sleep, intended to induce an "anti-dream" in the viewer.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The arrival in Weather Service and whatever prompted the PSA in Contingency are never shown. Perhaps worse, there may not have been a single trigger for the Contingency PSA. The fact that the "enemy" is left vague could very well imply that the Department for the Preservation of American Dignity keeps this particular message updated and ready... just in case.
    • The sudden disappearance of the music halfway through Show For Children, combined with imagery of dark caverns can make one on edge.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Everywhere. Partly because the videos are presented as VHS recordings of Local 58's broadcast. Heaviest in Weather Service. The PSA in Contingency speeds up and slows down randomly, with accompanying audio distortion.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: One possible explanation for the second party on the County Weather Service alert in Weather Service. "THE WARNING HAS BEEN LIFTED. GO OUTSIDE NOW". The party who begins with "ITS IN THE LIGHT" seems to have partially undergone this process; they may be the first party, or another. There are points in the footage where the first and second party appear to be fighting to the death, with the first desperately trying to warn the viewer before the second either kills them or drives them mad; For example, "IF YOU CAN READ THIS, DO NOT LOOK AT THE MOON" becomes shrouded with an Ominous Visual Glitch to become "CAN YOU READ THIS [?] LOOK AT THE MOON" before the first party attempts to highlight the sentences to show their real meaning.
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: In Show For Children, after the second time Cadavre looks into the grave. The music does not return.
  • Sanity Slippage: The third party on the County Weather Service alert.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Cadavre looks for his girlfriend, and not only fails to find her, but ends the episode as an inanimate pile of bones in a grave.
  • Silence Is Golden: The first two videos lack any spoken dialogue, or even non-verbal sounds (with the exception of the screaming in Weather Service, and the garbled-to-the-point-of-unintelligibility vocals from the second audio track in Contingency, which, keep in mind, was recorded sometime around 1910, so of course it would sound garbled).
  • Sleep Deprivation: "Real Sleep" video's final section shows a bunch of nightmare faces and subliminal messages against sleep and dreaming.
  • The Sleepless: In Real Sleep, some of the subliminal messages flashed on the screen suggest that this is the next level the Thought Research Initiative want to take people to after helping them to stop dreaming.
    ONLY THE AWAKE MAY THINK
    SLEEP IS NOT CIVILIZED
    STAY OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM / THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE
    THE PURE OF MIND DO NOT SLUMBER
    WHEN WE SLEEP WE DIE
  • Spiritual Successor: Given the channel's number and themes involving the unknown, it appears to be one for the Creepypasta Candle Cove, one of Kris Straub's previous creations.
  • Subliminal Seduction: It's gradually implied that the supposedly beneficial effects of the Real Sleep program are actually this trope in action, complete with a series of messages shown too fast to properly read toward the program's end.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The thing from You Are On The Fastest Available Route. It manages to catch up with a car which is trying to get away at full speed, and overturn it. Watching the timestamp shows that it doesn't catch the car until 5:33am, five minutes after its initial sighting. Anything running at car speeds for five minutes is pretty impressive.
  • Talkative Loon: The third party on the County Weather Service alert. Coherent sentences, but describing something that can't quite be understood by the sane, and definitely not all there.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: totally inverted with the DPAD emblem, which has a sword on top of a feather pen (which can also be seen as a spoof of the 1960s-era logo for the Advertising Council, which had a pen on top of a sword).
  • Thanatos Gambit: What the US government hopes to achieve in Contingency.
    [...]all Americans are now called upon to ACT.... to preserve the memory of the United States, clear and bright.... untarnished and uncompromised.
  • That Wasn't a Request: In Weather Report, once the second party arrives and begins to attack the first.
    GO OUTSIDE NOW.
  • The Virus/Mind Virus: In whatever sense, the thing from Weather Service is this. At least one of the parties on the County Weather Service alert has been subverted.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The driver in You Are On The Fastest Available Route never questions the strange instructions their Sat Nav is giving them, even when it tells them to follow signs labelled "Do Not Enter". Subverted when they encounter the monster, at which point they high tail it out of there as fast as they can, all while the Sat Nav is repeatedly telling them to turn around.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Common and understandable, considering the series is set on a TV station.
  • Weird Moon: The thing from Weather Service seems to possibly travel through moonlight.
  • Wendigo: The creature in You Are On The Fastest Available Route looks like an archetypal version of the Wendigo, and appears to live in the forest.
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