Item #: SCP-1112
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1112 is to be locked in Containment Cell 1112 at all times. Permission to study SCP-1112 must go through Dr. ██████. As items are fragile, personnel are advised to handle objects with care. No further precautions are necessary.
Description: SCP-1112 is the collective designation for four (4) Han Dynasty-era Chinese shadow puppets dated circa ███ CE. The items are cut from painted leather and stand 30 centimeters (12 in.) tall, typical of the era’s design. Wooden sticks fastened to the joints animate the figures. When not operated, the objects do not exhibit any abnormal properties.
SCP-1112's perceptual effects manifest when the objects are animated between a light source and translucent screen by one or more individuals, as in traditional shadow plays. All members of the play’s audience will perceive individual figures as the silhouettes of deceased, estranged or otherwise unattainable persons in their lives. The silhouette figures 'perform' scenes from their lives that either correspond to a subject's memories or are speculative and metaphorical in nature. No commonalities have been observed across all plays, except that they only include the deceased person(s) as the subject of the scene. Only the silhouettes are visible and will often interact with invisible characters and props (see Experiment Log 1112-1 for documented scenes).
Each figure is archetypal in design and symbolizes a category of interpersonal relationship, such as parental, familial or romantic bonds. The subject perceives each figure as an unattainable person with whom they shared that particular connection. Where no persons in the subject’s life correspond to a figure, the puppet is non-anomalous. Close observation of the silhouettes by subjects have revealed they behave as the real individuals in all aspects, even mirroring nervous tics and gesticulations only the viewer would have been privy to. The silhouettes move with a fluidity and precision that would be impossible with ordinary shadow puppets. The figures, however, do not vocalize.
Note that male figures can be observed as female silhouettes, and vice versa. The list of SCP-1112 items currently includes:
- SCP-1112-1: A concubine figure in a traditional gown. Often observed as the individual's dead lover, ex-wife, old flame, or an object of unrequited affection.
- SCP-1112-2: An Emperor figure wearing battle armor and brandishing a sword. Observed as the subject’s dead/estranged father or father figure.
- SCP-1112-3: An Empress figure in royal wear. Observed as the subject's dead/estranged mother or mother figure.
- SCP-1112-4: An ornately adorned ascetic figure with a demonic visage. Observed as a person that has inflicted physical and/or psychological trauma on the subject.
Although there have been no recorded effects of memetic compulsion to animate the items, individuals that do so (hereby referred to as users) become silent until the current ‘play’ is concluded. Looking behind the screen reveals no cause of the figure’s perceptual effects; the users simply operate the puppets according to their desires and ability but are unresponsive to external stimuli. As long as the figures are being moved behind the screen, SCP-1112's effects will manifest. When the user ceases operating the figures, all scenes will conclude together, however varied in nature.
The play users perform is never seen by the audience and has no bearing on the subject matter perceived. The nature and content of the performances is tailored specifically to individual members of the audience, even if other persons are present in room. Content of scenes tends to vary wildly depending on the figures used, the status of the subject’s relationship with the perceived persons, and other psychological predilections. Due to the intimate and emotional subject matter of the performances, understanding the context of documented scenes is dependent on the subject’s interpretation of what are often private, inscrutable, and disturbing revelations into their loved one’s lives.
Recorded plays with only one figure have included scenes depicting the person’s final hours in real time, birth, childhood, traumatic experiences, everyday life, personal triumphs and more esoteric scenes that could not possibly have occurred, but are inferred to be symbolic representations of some aspect of the late person's life. Plays that have included multiple figures have deviated wildly in content, such as the figures holding a roundtable discussion on their opinion of the subject (inferred due to lack of vocalizations), to [DATA EXPUNGED].