Item #: SCP-2696
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: A 1 km2 exclusion zone has been established around SCP-2696 under the cover of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Civilian access is to be restricted. Due to its containment procedures requiring the use of classified paranormal technology, access to SCP-2696 and its documentation is to be restricted to members of the Experimental Containment Research Group (ECRG), MTF Theta-77 ("Who You Gonna Call?") and personnel of clearance level 4-2696.
Additional Containment Procedures:
Esoteric containment of SCP-2696-1 revolves around reinforcing the existing thaumatic properties of SCP-2696 with a total of 256 Mk-V Automated Aetheric Field Modifiers (AAFM) units modified from stock Prometheus Labs technology (in particular, electro-thaumatic interfaces and sigil projection systems sourced from Project #5570 "ELECTRICAL EXORCIST" and requisite memristor-based neural net software developed in the abandoned Project #5525 "AUTO-MAGUS"). If needed, AAFM units can be supplemented by additional esoteric containment workings supplied by MTF Theta-77, though it is recommended that additional workings adhere to the preexisting schema of aetheric field densities within SCP-2696 in order to maximise containment capacity and reduce thaumatic load on each individual working.
Aspect radiation levels inside and around SCP-2696 must be constantly monitored for deviations; the current monitoring system as of July 1988 consists of a grid of Type-VI Aetheric Resonance Indicators, each spaced no more than 20 m apart. Should aspect radiation levels exceed a level of 1.0 kilocaspers within SCP-2696 or its immediate perimeter, all personnel are to be evacuated from the exclusion zone and MTF Theta-77 is to be placed on high alert.
Personnel must not remain inside SCP-2696 for more than one hour. All personnel assigned to SCP-2696 must don a minimum of a Class-3 Spectral Protection Ward at all times while within the exclusion zone.
Should SCP-2696-1 attempt to leave SCP-2696, MTF Theta-77 is to ensure that it remains contained within the physical boundaries of SCP-2696 at all costs.
Description: SCP-2696 is a mansion located in the region of Dark Peak in Derbyshire, England. The interior of SCP-2696 typically induces mild claustrophobia and panic in individuals within one hour of entry. Prolonged exposure leads to an intensification of such feelings, resulting in severe, crippling paranoia within 3-6 hours. Additionally, the nursery and the tower of SCP-2696 are subject to an anomalous effect which prevents all matter from entering or exiting the boundaries of either area; this effect does not extend to electromagnetic or aspect radiation.
SCP-2696 contains one or more incorporeal entities that are capable of inducing mind-altering effects at close range. As such, they are to be avoided where possible and kept contained inside SCP-2696.
SCP-2696-1 is a translucent, intangible humanoid apparition physically resembling the late Clara Rosyth, though it has been known to assume various non-humanoid forms during periods of high activity. Previous incarnations have included multiple, younger versions of Clara Rosyth, an animated mass of decaying Plumeria blossoms, and a motile column of bone and biological tissue. SCP-2696-1 primarily remains inside the tower of SCP-2696 when inactive, but will attempt to escape from the boundaries of SCP-2696 if its containment is not strictly enforced.
Physical proximity to SCP-2696-1 induces psychological effects ranging from mild visual and auditory hallucinations to amnesia, catalepsy, and in more severe cases, complete dissociation of identity. Such effects normally dissipate following the treatment of Class-B amnestics, though resurgence of symptoms has been known to occur.
SCP-2696-1 is not a purely spectral phenomenon. Aetheric resonance imaging of SCP-2696-1 show that it exhibits aspect radiation of an order of magnitude higher than conventional ectoplasmic entities, approaching levels of up to 3.0 kilocaspers in intensity. SCP-2696-1 instead appears to be a thaumatic construct bound to a self-sustaining aetheric monopole constantly generating Elan-Vital Energy (EVE) particles from an unknown source. How this has been achieved without the monopole instantly decaying is theorised to be due to the low aetheric flux density within SCP-2696 stabilising the monopole by constantly draining off its excess EVE particles. Consequently, SCP-2696-1 exhibits much higher levels of aspect radiation and greater amplification of its mind-altering effects the further it is from center of SCP-2696, as well as greater instability. Should SCP-2696-1 completely exit SCP-2696, it is likely to undergo a rapid expansion of its area-of-effect, followed by violent decay of its aetheric monopole and subsequent release of massive amounts of backlash. This has been theorised to result in mass hallucinations and small- to medium-scale reality shifts within a 600 km radius, and irreversible ego death in all sentient individuals within a 200 km radius.
SCP-2696-2A and -2B designates the skeletal remains of Miles and Edgar Rosyth respectively, located inside the nursery of SCP-2696. Due to the inaccessibility of the nursery, the two instances of SCP-2696-2 have only been documented via aetheric resonance imaging and X-ray imaging of the nursery interior.
SCP-2696-2A and -2B are normally inert, with the two entities lying in a fetal position at the center of the room. The two entities only animate during periods of high SCP-2696-1 activity. During such periods, SCP-2696-2A and -2B have been observed to alternate between wrestling with each other, dancing in circles, and standing motionless at the door to the nursery.
Enhanced imaging of the two entities reveals the presence of a carved symbol on the forehead of each of the instances' skulls. Notes recovered from the study suggest a relation between the symbol and various experiments conducted by Henry Percival Rosyth, in particular those concerning the manifestation and manipulation of thought-based constructs.
Schema and history of SCP-2696:
SCP-2696 was formerly known as Rosyth Hall, built in 1869 by the eccentric industrialist and occultist Henry Percival Rosyth. It comprises of two stories and an elevated tower, constructed in a traditional neo-Gothic architectural style. Its interior, however, features numerous unorthodox design elements such as sloped floors, dead-end hallways, protruding surfaces, and uneven, twisting corner angles.
It is worth noting that the unique internal structure of SCP-2696 was not an original feature of the building. Following the death of his wife, Clara Rosyth, in the January of 1873, Henry Rosyth would begin the first of a series of modifications to the mansion, centering on the library and tower. Notes recovered from Rosyth's study suggest that he intended the two spaces to become a "combined shrine of converged spiritual energy", modelled after similar structures found in northern Chinese monasteries, and extensive blueprints attest to an elongated bell-shaped chamber lined with complex three-dimensional reliefs, measuring almost 10 m tall and designed with mathematically calculated precision.
When his two children, Edgar and Miles, died in the August of that same year, the already eccentric Rosyth became even more so. In 1874, he commenced the remodelling of the other rooms of the house. According to the testimony of his former staff, Rosyth obsessively insisted that the construction of the modifications adhere to his own exact specifications, and often spent his days supervising the work himself. His nights were spent in solitude in the tower or the second-floor nursery, from which his employees often claimed to have witnessed strange noises and lights. The materials requested to be used for construction grew increasingly specific and bizarre; one receipt lists an order for 200 kg of ground-up stone from the Isle of Anglessey in Wales, and 37 m of pipes made from a fragile mercury-copper amalgam.
Work on the internal modifications ceased in June of 1876, when the remaining workmen refused to continue in fear of Rosyth's increasingly disturbed behaviour and the numerous unexplained phenomena witnessed within Rosyth Hall. Rosyth promptly dismissed the remainder of his staff except his housekeeper, and spent the following two months attempting to finish the construction work by himself. He would later perish in his own home, as testified by a group of investigators from the Royal Foundation for the Secure Containment of the Paranormal (RFSCP), who were investigating rumours of spectral phenomena in Rosyth Hall (see Addendum-2696-02).
Rosyth was known among mid-19th-century occultists for his investigation of Eastern mystic practices, most notably Chinese fengshui. It is theorised that the modifications to SCP-2696 are based on similar principles of redirecting the flow of EVE particles, resulting in SCP-2696's anomalous effects. In particular, the aetheric field within SCP-2696 is modulated via materials of alternating EVE particle permeability arranged in specific patterns and formations seemingly designed to attract "negative qi", which corresponds in modern thaumaturgical terms to inducing a region of extremely low aetheric flux density capable of disrupting human cognition.
Subsequently, displaced EVE particle flow is channeled into "islands" of high aetheric flux density surrounded by areas of low aetheric flux density. This results in nodes of high thaumathurgic potential difference that greatly amplifies the efficiency of thaumatic workings placed within, at the cost of SCP-2696 being induced into a constant state of unstable equilibrium. When SCP-2696 was initially acquired, the nodes were already occupied by workings carved into the masonry, apparently designed to weaken and contain SCP-2696-1. The unstable nature of SCP-2696 demands that these workings be left untouched.
Addendum-2696-01: Excerpts from the diary of Henry Percival Rosyth, recovered from inside SCP-2696
They buried Clara on the 4th - on one of those dreadful winter mornings where the frost drips off everything like a veil and the last owls have yet to echo away the terror of the dawn. Even now, in the dim safety of my study, her voice still rings in my mind — as I speak I cannot help but hear her echoes lingering at the edges of my words — her memories, still fresh in my mouth.
The children are asleep now, but I think that I will fear to hear their voices too when they wake.
A correspondent from America writes to me about his work on the "mind-made body". His schema is clumsy, inefficient - but it sets me thinking. Thought, given power, becomes form. But thoughts are transient, fleeting, merely actions and words yet-to-be. They decompose. They rot.
Memory, however, is altogether different. I recall the work of Ebbinghaus and his idea of "savings" - that what was once forgotten is still retained, encoded - engraved, if you will - on the neurons of the mind. And so I ask, what is a memory but a thought cast in stone?
Self-experimentation has not been forthcoming. So much reminds me of her, yet nothing comes forth in practice. Ink and needle proves insufficient. My forehead stings.
[The remainder of the page is covered with complex geometrical diagrams, partially smudged with blood.]
The Eastern mystic traditions of positioning and energy flow are of great assistance. Sacrifice and equivalent exchange mean nothing when a working can draw from the flow of the very air itself. Though my attempts still end in failure, the tower's auspicious energies are strong.
I must persevere, for her sake and mine.
The children still speak in her voice. I fear I might be going mad.
Addendum-2696-02: Initial Recovery Log
Addendum-2696-03: Interviews with SCP-2696-1-contaminated personnel
Dr. Sanchez: Divya, how are you feeling?
Priyadarshni: Like hell. Whatever they gave me, it isn't working.
S: Can you elaborate?
P: It's kind of like a pounding, at the base of my skull. And at the front, too. It won't let up. When I try to focus on the pain I feel like I'm focusing down a telescope, if that makes any sense.
S: Mhm. What about the hallucinations? Are they gone yet?
P: No, they're not all gone. Just residual visions, mostly. Like, right before you came in I closed my eyes and I swear I was back in that house again -like it was plastered on the backs of my eyes. Except the lights were all on, and everything looked - well, broken. Like looking into smashed glass. It's the same for the others, isn't it? I heard. Or, at least, I think I heard. Maybe it was something else.
S: I see. (Interviewer pauses.) Did… anything else happen?
P: I think - I think I saw her, too. SCP-2696-1. Or Clara, whatever you want to call her. She was just about… there. (Subject vaguely gestures to their 11 o'clock with their left hand.) Just two arms' length away. She had this dress on, and - and - those small, jeweled slippers. I knew they were jeweled, because I looked down and saw them on my feet, in one of the broken shards. And she turned and gave me this - this smile. Like that was all she had to give. It caught in the cracks and I saw it reflected over and over again, in my eyes. She was so gentle…
S: Div? Div? What happened after that?
P: I don't know. I snapped to back here again, and that's when you came in, and that's when I realised I wasn't dreaming, I was awake the whole time. I think it took no more than two seconds. Sorry I can't remember more than that, doc.
S: I understand. It's not just you, the others are confused as well. Is there anything more you need? Anything we can do?
P: Nah, we're good here. Just turn off the lights when you leave. It gets so bright when I close my eyes.
Specialist Carrington: How it went? Cut to the chase, you're just looking for the soundbite on how being mindfucked by the house feels like.
Dr. Lim: I'd prefer we call this an interview, thank you very much.
C: Right you are, ma'am. So where'd you want me to begin?
L: On the record, your team was deployed after 2696-1 activated and blew the seals off two of the arrays in the library. There was another burst of ARad, and your team went dark. We just want to know what happened next.
C: Alright. I remember - I remember we'd made it to the damaged arrays without any issue - numbers L03 and L05, if I'm not wrong. Jorge and I held the thing steady while Molly traced back the runes, and we got L03 up just fine. We'd just begun working on L05 when our comms start to flicker, and the alarm starts blaring from outside. And I think to myself, well, shit, that's not good. We'd been first responders before, but none of us had really been caught inside the house when it went live, y'know?
C: So we pack up our gear nice and easy, try not to make any sudden movements, and creep our way back to the library entrance when all of a sudden my ward just goes fsshhht and sparks out. Then Molly's ward goes, then Jorge's too. We were carrying Class-5's, for God's sake. You've seen them before - they're heavy, powerful stuff, no joke. So when this happens, that's when we dropped everything and ran. But we were too slow. I saw her, dash-one, moving down the tower stairs. She was moving, not really floating, just - moving. Then bam, she was right in front of me.
C: One moment I was staring into her eyes, the next moment Jorge is pulling me out by my armpits, dragging me down the stairs, and that's when I realised the screaming was my own. Then the side effects kicked in. It's like - you ever met a psychic, Mir? It's not pretty, the way it feels, that drinking-straw butterfly-proboscis feeling you get inside your head, sloshing up your insides. No, this is different. Dash-one is something else entirely.
M: Tell me about it.
C: It's like… a flood. Almost profound. And that's how she gets in, that's her, slipping into the grooves and crannies of your brain, getting in between the folds, and you remember. You remember what it's like to be her, like you've never been anything else. Everything comes at once - the smell of her hair, the touch of her voice on your skin, gently up the cleft of your cheek - it's her, she's the real deal, she's everywhere and anywhere at once in your mind. But she doesn't come in one piece, she comes in shards and ashes that don't quite seem to fit together as she does, as she should. I cried, you know. She could've been so, so much more.
C: She's broken. That's what she is. Whatever he did to her to try and bring her back, that's not her. Bits and pieces suspended in time, bound to a crumbling frame of whatever's beneath that skin - and behind it she's roaring and bursting and raging with the force of a dying star, spitting out the pieces of herself that don't fit, that can't fit. And for a moment, when you look into her eyes, you are her, and you feel her pain and rage and ten thousand other things that you don't have a word for, because she's got nothing inside to feel in the way that you or I do, nothing left but a whirlwind of shattered glass and memories.
M: I think I understand. Is there anything more?
C: No, I'm - I think I'm done here. (Subject pauses.) I'd like to take the meds now, if you please.
Addendum-2696-04: Incident log of activation event, 06/12/1990
[00:00:06] Thunderstorms begin to form in the Dark Peak region.
[00:12:52] SCP-2696 begins to exhibit increased aspect radiation levels, with local readings outside SCP-2696 registering a peak of 0.87 kilocaspers. All personnel are evacuated from within SCP-2696.
[00:30:20] Lightning strikes SCP-2696 in several places in quick succession. Surge protection fails, and 55% of the electrothaumic arrays in SCP-2696 are damaged beyond repair. The remaining arrays soon become overloaded and fail in the resultant cascade effect. Almost immediately, aspect radiation levels within SCP-2696 spike above 2.0 kilocaspers. Backup electrothaumic arrays are powered on, and MTF Theta-77 is scrambled. SCP-2696-1 is noted to change form into a swirling, floating mass of tattered white lace emitting a loud screeching sound.
[00:35:11] Backup electrothaumic arrays do not appear to have any effect in containing SCP-2696-1. SCP-2696-1 reaches peak aspect radiation levels of 5.1 kilocaspers. Personnel outside SCP-2696 begin to complain of headaches and nausea.
[00:40:45] Theta-77 arrives and establishes an inner and outer cordon around SCP-2696. Emergency rituals performed by Specialists R. Mundi and Z. Inglewood succeed in repelling SCP-2696-1 away from the front door of SCP-2696 and back towards the second storey. However, SCP-2696-1 manages to mentally incapacitate three members of Theta-77 (Specialist C. Carrington, Technician I. Clarke, and Technician F. Izumi).
[00:42:54] A strong wind blows through the hallways of SCP-2696. The front door is slammed shut and is unable to be opened from the outside. Specialists Mundi and Inglewood are unable to continue the containment rituals and retreat with the remainder of the inner cordon team. Aspect radiation levels around SCP-2696 continue to intensify to a record high of 7.5 kilocaspers, beyond the threshold of protection offered by any Foundation protection wards. Throughout all this, SCP-2696-1 remains at the staircase to the second storey. Its swirling and screeching intensifies.
[00:43:00] Internal monitors detect that the door to the nursery has opened.
[00:43:06] Internal monitors detect that both instances of SCP-2696-2 have left the nursery, accompanied by a large burst of aspect radiation and electromagnetic radiation in the gamma spectrum. Minor seismic tremors are detected within SCP-2696, likely as a result of said aspect radiation discharge.
[00:44:30] Both instances of SCP-2696-2 approach SCP-2696-1 with outstretched arms. Upon contact with SCP-2696-2, SCP-2696-1 abruptly shrinks, shifting back into its humanoid form.
[00:44:49] Local aspect radiation levels are observed to sharply drop. The two instances of SCP-2696-2 lead SCP-2696-1 by the hand into the library and up the stairs into the tower.
[00:45:23] SCP-2696-1 turns around to embrace the two instances of SCP-2696-2. It kisses each of them on the symbols on their foreheads, then passes through the tower door and disappears.
[00:46:02] Both instances of SCP-2696-2 hold hands and descend the tower steps. They exit through the second floor and return to the nursery. At this point, aspect radiation levels within SCP-2696 have returned to baseline.
[00:46:37] The door to the nursery gently closes. Above SCP-2696, the thunderstorm dissipates. Theta-77 is ordered to stand down.
SCP-2696-1 activity was greatly reduced in the months following this incident. It is unknown as to why the surge protectors failed, as well as to how SCP-2696-2 was able to leave the nursery and pacify SCP-2696-1.
Subsequent investigations revealed that the interior structure of SCP-2696 was significantly damaged by the large burst of aspect radiation caused by the emergence of SCP-2696-2 from the nursery. While some of the damage was reparable, several structures utilised fragile and/or currently unobtainable materials that were unable to be replaced in full. It appears that while SCP-2696-2 serves as a last-resort failsafe mechanism for SCP-2696, repeated activations will have the negative effect of permanently reducing the containment effectiveness of SCP-2696, resulting in more frequent and violent breach attempts.
Given current containment practices and rates of failure of AAFM units, it is estimated that SCP-2696-1 will have a 47% chance of fully breaching containment by 2030. Accordingly, members of the ECRG assigned to SCP-2696 are to focus on devising more sustainable and permanent long-term containment solutions for SCP-2696-1.