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"Federal law imposes severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorised reception of analog frequencies formerly allocated to broadcast television."

LOCAL58 is a Web Original Analog Horror anthology series by Kris Straub of Chainsawsuit fame, and a spin-off of his story Candle Cove, centering around the mysterious TV channel that the show aired on. The videos, which are presented in the form of found footage and emergency alerts from the titular (fictitious) US station WCLV-TV, paint a picture of a station and broadcast area where things are wrong, but it's not entirely clear what. Wild Mass Guessing abounds.

The videos are:

  • Weather Service, an overnight weather warning for a rather unusual meteorological event. Originally published on the Chainsawsuit Original YouTube channel on October 26, 2015.
  • Contingency, a Lyndon 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 (or, if invokedFridge Logic comes into play, the end of the world was happening). Originally published on the Chainsawsuit Original YouTube channel on January 12, 2016.
  • You Are On The Fastest Available Route, dashcam footage with accompanying GPS audio, taken over roughly three-and-a-half hours in the early morning of November 21, 2014. Originally published on the Chainsawsuit Original YouTube channel on June 19, 2016.
  • Station ID, the card for the start of the broadcast day. Lets you know that even if you don't watch, it doesn't matter — there are other receivers. Published on November 2, 2017, shortly after Local58 was given its own YouTube channel following Chainsawsuit Original's rebranding into FilmJoy.
  • Show For Children, a black-and-white 1929 cartoon called Cadavre, about the titular character looking to find his loved one. Published on July 30, 2018.
  • A Look Back, a montage of WCLV station idents from the 1930s to the present day, only to be interrupted by a second-party hack with a cryptic message (also showing 2- or 3-second snippets of the previous videos, and a few unrelated videos) making it a de facto trailer for the channel. Published on August 27, 2018.
  • Real Sleep, a cult-esque instructional video informing the viewer about the truth of dreams and how to achieve real sleep, based on a real phenomenon. Published on December 19, 2018.
  • Skywatching, an amateur video tour of nighttime constellations that ends up capturing more astrological phenomena than stars in the sky. Published on November 1, 2019.
  • Digital Transition, a tribute from the network as the transition between analog and digital television is made, with glimpses of both the past and the future. Published on October 31, 2021.
  • Close, by far the longest Local 58 video thus far, depicting a probe landing on a near-earth asteroid. Published October 31, 2022.

The popularity of these videos led to numerous imitators, spawning the horror genre of Analog Horror.


  • Affectionate Parody: Skywatching with Hank Heidemann has an eerily-identical logo to Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer, a similar show which had a long run on public television. At the very end, the late Horkheimer's long-time catch phrase, "Keep looking up!" is shown after a real-life "supported by Viewers Like You" credit. But it's not a request this time.
  • 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 accidentally aired in its original format in the modern world anyway. Never mind 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, indicating that he ran for president a second time and was reelected in the series' chronology. That said, it seems to be several clips edited together, including one for 1975.
    • The agency which oversees U.S. broadcasting during the switch to digital television is called the "FCG," not the FCC.
  • 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 either out of sheer national pride, in which case the horror comes from that.
      • A more pragmatic reason, such as ultimately making the invasion a Pyrrhic Victory and causing the enemy to abandon America while some survivors come out of hiding and repopulate.
      • 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.
    • The camcorder operator in Skywatching identifying the "Moon" as "HIS THRONE," then eventually gets in front of the camcorder upon its big reveal and seemingly... and slowly... disappears.
  • 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.
  • Art Evolution: The in-universe evolution of the Local 58 logo throughout the decades is shown in Digital Transition, ending with a thin and simplified logo in 2021.
  • Ate His Gun: Recommended in Contingency (complete with instructions!) But if there's no loaded firearm at hand or you prefer another method, use what seems good to you.
  • 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.
  • Badass Boast: The Moon's cultists appear to give one in the form of onscreen text in Digital Transition:
  • 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. As the chase continues, the GPS is still reporting the distance from the "destination," which is catching up to the car.
  • 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.
  • Buffy Speak: Contingency reminds viewers at a convenient time that the "hole of gun" is what is meant by "muzzle."
  • 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.
    • The message at the end of Skywatching, "Keep looking up," is a direct call-back to the warning in Weather Service, telling the viewers not to look up.
    • Cadavre and his girlfriend are seen in their 90s/2000s incarnations as part of Local 58's history in Digital Transition, implying that they got their own revival show.
      • Digital Transition ends with the message, "There are other receivers," the same message at the end of Station ID.
  • 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.
    • Contingency seems to assume that mass suicide is something the average citizen has been preparing for and possibly even taught in school during wartime, like "Duck and Cover" or an Air Raid Drill, needing only brief instructions when the pivotal moment arrives.
  • 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. Meanwhile, Skywatching implies that something is definitely up there, and its constructions (namely, a network of strange cobweb-like structures, various cylindrical buildings and a gigantic arrow symbol) and the presence of a gigantic bipedal creature that had been growing inside the Moon like a developing chick inside its egg spell only darker times for Earth.
  • Creepily Long Arms: The creature in You Are On The Fastest Available Route has these.
  • Crowd Panic: Happens at least twice (if not three times) on a large scale in the series, though all instances happen at night, where a good proportion of people may have escaped the threat that caused the panic by simply not being awake. note 
    • In Weather Report, after the third party announces "We will look together" and begins broadcasting footage of the Moon.
    • Contingency takes the biscuit, during and after the Hoax DPAD announcement is aired - this may well have affected anyone in the entire mainland United States who was awake to see the broadcast, or at the very least, anyone awake within the area Local58 broadcasts to.
    • In Skywatching, after the Moon worshiper films "HIS THRONE" at the highest level of detail.
  • 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 Equals Death: As You Are On The Fastest Available Route progresses, the driver follows their GPS onto steadily less and less lit, populated roads. At the very end, it's strongly implied that they were killed by the creature pursuing them.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The PSA in Contingency urges Americans to "ACT", "TAKE ACTION", and "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. According to the creator, Kris Straub, the 51st State is "death."
  • 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 US was forced to surrender after a nuclear war, as in First Strike), and the mentality of "better dead than red". However, considering the later entries, if they take place in the same setting, then there are implications that it may very well have to do with something much, much worse.
  • 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.
    • The home video footage in Skywatching tries to mimic the show being hijacked by pointing to two different constellations, with the ambient sounds of the outdoors adding to the almost disquieting tranquility.
  • 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.
  • Eerily Out-of-Place Object: Close features an asteroid shaped like a misshapen human skull, with a crater for a "left eye" that's shadowed. As the probe approaches it it's revealed that the crater contains a perfectly normal-looking door, which opens, but we don't see what's inside.
  • 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, Edenvale, Lasker City, and Broodhollow - Straub's pre-existing horror project (Ichor Falls) and webcomic (Broodhollow), respectively. Edenvale and Lasker City are locations that were mentioned in Broodhollow.
    • Skywatching shows us that something utterly bizarre has happened to the Moon, what with acquiring unnerving structures that were never there before and some manner of weather pattern.
    • The comet in Close. While the fact it looks eerily like a skull at angles isn't anything to write home about, the fact there's a giant door on it is.
  • 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.
  • False Reassurance: Zig-zagged. During Close, quite a lot of the approach is taken up with discussion of how the shadows on the asteroid's surface make it look like a skull, but it's just shadows, really. This gets taken to slightly disturbing levels with an artist's depiction of the asteroid as an unnatural, desiccated-looking face. When the probe approaches, however, it is shown to really be just shadows... obscuring a giant door in the center of the asteroid.
  • Filler: In-universe. During Skywatching, the 12:30am broadcast slot is dedicated to a city council meeting recorded in 1991. The copyright notice on the actual, hijacked episode of "Skywatching" says it was recorded in 1994. Either the channel had nothing better than a three-year-old recording of a council meeting to show at that time, or the meeting's contents were somehow relevant to what was actually going on in the world.
    • 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.
      • For a split-second at the beginning of the tape, there's a screen that reveals that the tape was intended for someone named Philip Gerhardt.
    • The creature from You Are on the Fastest Available Route appears for barely a second at 2:47 before the dashcam distorts.
    • In Digital Transition, following an interruption, this message can be faintly glimpsed in the background.
      I the one you watched
      I the always here
      They make you thought from pieces
      They cut the thoughts I am
      All knife all knife
      Thoughts shape in needles
      They dream themself in knifes
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Show for Children has a seeming animation error where the Moon is shown to go in front of the tree instead of continuing to be behind it, as if the animators forgot about depth perception. But come Skywatching, where the Moon appears to be getting closer...
    • Also in Show for Children, when Cadavre was looking into the second grave, the Moon can be seen peeking on him at the top-left corner. And after Cadavre lied down and accepted his fate, the Moon somehow appeared inside the hole instead of over it. Foreshadowing its ability to seemingly disappear and reappear at will.
  • Gigantic Moon: Played for Horror in Skywatching. The extremely-large Moon brainwashes the camera man into worshiping it.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The third party on the County Weather Service alert seems to be in the beginning stages of this.
  • Government Agency of Fiction:
    • The United States Department for the Preservation of American Dignity in Contingency
    • Federal Communications Governance in Digital Transition, the in-universe equivalent to the Federal Communications Commission. (Then averted later in the episode when emblems of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health & Human Services are shown at the warning ending the broadcast).
    • Space & Aeronautics Regulatory Oversight in Close, the in-universe equivalent of NASA
  • 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 note . "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 computerized voice utters during the later phases.
    • The signal hijacking at the start of the actual Skywatching into the hand-held camera Skywatching has a very brief, but loud, scream.
    • The indistinct, inaudible communications chattering in "Close" can start to sound demonic after a while, especially when the voice at points glitches and stretches out.
  • 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.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: Whatever is arriving in Weather Service is far beyond human understanding. Assuming they are the same as the alien creatures featured in You Are On The Fastest Available Route and Skywatching, the force is certainly sentient and capable of building colonies (several of which are seen in Skywatching in the form of cylindrical buildings and a giant arrow symbol on the Moon) but their goals are as byzantine as whatever their true nature may be.
  • Invaded States of America: Contingency depicts the station accidentally airing a Cold War-era newsreel that was prepared in case this fate befell the country, warning that the US has just fallen to an invading military power (implied to be the Soviet Union, though possibly something much worse) and urging that the nation's citizens commit mass suicide, deeming it preferable to living under occupation.
  • Leitmotif: Each era of Local 58 has its own theme music, typically heard during the broadcast schedule screen (it also plays during the technical difficulties screen in Contingency).
  • 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 videos (except for Real Sleep), 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 the 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...
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the comet in Close is "57838 Eidolon," a Greek word which, among other things, is what the word pareidolia is derived from. Hence why so many people see it as a skull.
  • 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.
    • Most of Digital Transition as well, by connecting some of the dots more clearly. If you pay attention to the freeze-frame background messages, the heading changes from ANNOUNCEMENT to BETRAYAL to I COME IN, and then THROUGH THE WINDOW. At the same time we have the descriptor of "I the one you watched / I the always here." One of Local 58's slogans is "We've always been here," and the former description is applied to the moonlight entity in Weather Service, as well as the same GO OUTSIDE NOW message. From all this we can infer that the moonlight entity is definitely interfering with Local 58's signal directly, and may have been directly influencing the station for a long, long time. Furthermore the entity's frantic attempts at denying the transition and the $150,000 penalty for watching analog signals post-digital conversion tells us that the entity cannot influence digital broadcast directly - only analog signals.
  • Mirror Monster: Weather Service implies that the invading force can access them.
  • 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?!
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The titular Local 58 TV station was first featured in Straub's previous work Candle Cove, under the name Channel 58, and would broadcast the in-universe Candle Cove show.
    • Cadavre is a character in Straub's webcomic Broodhollow who shows up in dreams.
    • In Digital Transition, a show called "Hirsch's Camera" is shown in the channel montage. It is the title of a story about a creepy camera in Ichor Falls.
  • Nightmare Face: The corpse in Show For Children has very sharp, piercing eyes staring at the viewer as well as a gaping mouth with jagged, 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.
    • The "artist's recreation" and "false contrast" images of the asteroid in "Close."
  • The Night That Never Ends: What the goal of "HIS THRONE" appears to be trying to accomplish as of Skywatching. At 3:14, the sky appears to be reaching sunrise, with the Moon being gone by the time Hank zooms out... but then the Moon abruptly grows in size, or is replaced by a new Moon, changing it back to night.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: These shorts manage to create an extremely creepy atmosphere without giving any specifics about the danger. The lack of solid details actually makes it more frightening.
    • 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 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 creature in You Are On The Fastest Available Route appears for a fraction of a second, just barely long enough to register. The ultimate fate of the passenger in the car it pursues is left to the viewer's imagination.
    • The sudden disappearance of the music halfway through Show For Children, combined with imagery of dark caverns, can make one on edge.
  • Offing the Offspring: Contingency urges parents to "tend to [their] children" first.
  • 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.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Contingency PSA takes this up a couple notches by urging all Americans, in the event America is defeated, to commit suicide, including killing children and pets if necessary, purely to preserve America's integrity.
  • 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.
    • The creator of the series, Kris Straub, has publicly hinted that the camcorder footage in Skywatching actually wasn't a part of Hank Heidemann's show.
    • Several other instances that may be this also take place in Skywatching; before what was going to air switched into the "Skywatching" footage aired by the Moon-worshiping man, what appears to be a scream can be heard just before the footage changes; later on, as "HIS THRONE" becomes gigantic in the night sky, a Thunderbolt 1000T tornado siren begins to sound in attack mode, only to suddenly be silenced. Something - perhaps the Moon itself - is taking control of the entire area.
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: In Show For Children, after the second time Cadavre looks into the grave. The music does not return.
    • Though if you listen closely, there's a very, very faint - and ominous - musical note as the camera pans over the triangle formation on the Moon in Skywatching. Listen from about 3:00 to 3:15.
  • Sanity Slippage: The third party on the County Weather Service alert.
  • Scenery Dissonance: In Contingency, tranquil (albeit dated) footage of nature and urban landscapes accompanies an emergency broadcast urging all American citizens to commit suicide.
  • Scenery Porn: Eldritch Location aside, most shots of the Moon in Weather Service and Skywatching (plus the final view of the moon in Show For Children) come under this; some truly stunning and highly detailed views of the place were chosen. The end credits for Skywatching (for the real show, not what had actually aired) shows the iconic Earthrise photograph as well.
  • Shared Universe: With Broodhollow. Cadavre, a cartoon character from the webcomic, shows up in Show for Children, and the Greater Mason County cities listed in the channel bumper are the same as the stops Wads' train makes.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: Digital Transition opens with a clip from One Step Beyond.
  • Silence is Golden: The first two videos lack any spoken dialogue, or even non-verbal sounds (with the exception of the screaming and unintelligible conversations in what sounds like an office space (which can be heard during the first EAS broadcast, just before the second party arrives and begins attacking) in Weather Service, and the garbled-to-the-point-of-unintelligibility vocals from the second audio track in Contingency (which was recorded sometime around 1910, so of course it would sound garbled). Likewise, the cartoon "A Grave Mistake" has a 1929 copyright date, so the gradual loss of the audio track as the cartoon plays in Show for Children due to a poor-quality public-domain print or simple neglect is justified.
  • Sleep Deprivation: The final section of Real Sleep 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.
  • 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. This connection is reinforced by Kris' confirmation that Local 58 aired Candle Cove in the early 1970s.
  • Stock Footage: A Look Back includes a snippet from One Step Beyond, a 1959-61 Genre Anthology series that is now in the Public Domain.
  • 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 5:33 AM, five minutes after its initial sighting. Anything running at car speeds for five minutes is pretty impressive.
  • Surreal Horror: Pops up all over to some degree, but mostly in Close. That's not a skull, but the asteroid does have a door in it. And as soon as it lands, the door opens... and something immediately kicks the probe off the asteroid and into space.
  • 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.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Local 58 itself, potentially. In You Are On The Fastest Available Route, the station is still clearly using the old, non-modern-looking format that it has used since at least the 1970s, yet they somehow aired a live video set in 2014. Also hinted at with A Look Back if taken as an installment of the series and not as a promotional video.
  • That's No Moon: As the series progresses, it becomes clear that the Moon has become some sort of Eldritch Abomination that drives people to madness.
  • The Man in the Moon: Played straight in the beginning of "A Grave Mistake" before turning into a more sinister face bordering on a very, very Weird Moon.
  • 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 Service, once the second party arrives and begins to attack the first.
  • 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. Still, the fact that they followed those instructions in the first place would make Charles Darwin roll in his grave.
  • 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.
    • The new Moon in Skywatching appears to have replaced the previous one. This Moon appears to be almost flesh-like below its surface and has an atmosphere with gasses and all, giving it the impression that it is alive and breathing; the shape in the center shown in the final shot looks as though it may be some enormous skeletonized creature. There also appears to be what looks like structures made by a sentient race on HIS THRONE's surface; a giant black arrow and cylindrical or circular buildings connected by walls exist inside of a large crater.
  • 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.
  • We Win, Because You Didn't: In the event that the United States was ever conquered by an enemy force, the "Department for the Preservation of American Dignity" would call upon all Americans to kill themselves, presumably as a final "screw you" to the enemy, declaring "even in defeat we claim VICTORY" and instructing the viewer to assume the "victory position" upon death if possible.
  • Wham Line: In Skywatching, when shown a constellation or star, it's followed by the name of said star in red text. But then we get to the Moon.
  • Wham Shot: Also in Skywatching. After being a recurring motif both explicit and implied in the previous videos, we finally get to see what Earth's Moon looks like in this universe.

Keep Looking Up


Video Example(s):


Weather Service

A battle for control over the Local 58 station and the Emergency Alert System is taking place, with the second party attempting to alter the desperate warnings given out by the EAS with ominous amounts of static when merely changing the text doesn't seem to be working on its own. At the same time, the EAS staff try to wrestle back control and reiterate important instructions about the threat. This... doesn't end well.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / OminousVisualGlitch

Media sources: