Tuesday, 9 February 2016



In last week’s feature in this ongoing series of Creepypasta articles, I looked at mythical  videogame Polybius, which was said to have a terrible psychological effect on those who played it.
Of course, Polybius is not the only piece of media said to cause an adverse reaction in those who gaze upon it. There are any number of supposedly cursed videos or stills online, but one of the most widespread (and said to cause the most freaky results) was that of the curiously monickered Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv.

On 18 April 2008, a bizarre 20 second long video was uploaded to YouTube by user erwilzei. The clip consisted of oversaturated, colour-filtered footage of a man staring intensely into the camera, before grinning briefly at the end of the clip.
The unsettling nature of the video saw it spread quickly, downloaded, then reuploaded over and over again.
It was one of these uploads to which the following body of Creepypasta text was attached.

“There is a video on YouTube named Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv. If you search this, you will find nothing. The few times you find something, all you will see is a 20 second video of a man staring intently at you, expressionless, then grinning for the last 2 seconds. The background is undefined. This is only part of the actual video.

The full video lasts 2 minutes, and was removed by YouTube after 153 people who viewed the video gouged out their eyes and mailed them to YouTube’s main office in San Bruno. Said people had also committed suicide in various ways. It is not yet known how they managed to mail their eyes after gouging them out. And the cryptic inscription they carve on their forearms has not yet been deciphered.

YouTube will periodically put up the first 20 seconds of the video to quell suspicions, so that people will not go look for the real thing and upload it. The video itself was only viewed by one YouTube staff member, who started screaming after 45 seconds. This man is under constant sedatives and is apparently unable to recall what he saw. The other people who were in the same room as him while he viewed it and turned off the video for him say that all they could hear was a high pitched drilling sound. None of them dared look at the screen.

The person who uploaded the video was never found, the IP address being non-existant. And the man on the video has never been identified."

It was this tale that saw the Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv video go viral. Discussed (and of course disseminated) through the ever-reliable /X/ board at 4chan and various other paranormal message boards and forums.
Soon it became a part of chain emails, adding a Ring-like element that claimed people had to share the link upon viewing the video or risk a blood-curdling fate. The psychic/supernatural virus has become a regular trope in modern horror, especially in the wake of the tremendous success of Koji Suzuki’s novel and the blockbuster movie adaptation by Hideo Nakata.
Technology has become a huge part of the modern world, so it makes sense that it would play an equally prominent role in modern horror. Technological breakthroughs happen so quickly and have become so advanced that it comes as no surprise to see that many people view them warily. Advances come and go so quickly that lots of users find themselves a little confounded by the speed at which the world is moving on — and nothing helps breed fear like the unknown and unexplainable.
This was undoubtedly a factor that saw a certain red-hued video spread throughout the world, and gaining considerable traction in Russia during August of that same year. Russian web users adapted the Creepypasta, adding several embellishments and additional plotpoints, including a Polybius-like conspiracy theory that claimed the deadly video had been created by the United States Secret Service.
Meanwhile a flood of 2 minute long ‘original’ videos appeared on YouTube, of varying degrees of quality. Now, I’ve watched quite a few of these while researching this article and have, this far, managed to refrain from popping out my peepers and dispatching them by air mail to San Bruno, California, so I can only presume that they were fakes.
But — of course — they all are. Even before the bloggers over in Eastern Europe were blowing up about the CIA’s cursed clip, the video had been well-and-truly debunked in another YouTube video.
Back on 20 April 2008 (a mere two days after the video landed) YouTube user Protoma posted Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv Exposed! in which they revealed that the original clip was created by an eBaumsworld user who used photos of a marketing coordinator at Hillman Curtis, a Los Angeles-based advertising agency.
Pictures of the mystery man had been used in a survey by the company back in 2004.
In time Russian bloggers did a little more digging and discovered that the creepy intense man was the decidedly normal Byron Cortez, a resident of the US Virgin Islands. Needless to say, I’m sure he’s pretty bemused to have unwittingly become the face of malignant horror to thousands of Internet users around the globe.

Even with the story of Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv explained and debunked, it still exists as a part of the zeitgeist for regular users of web forums. As well as those who choose to spread the original, unaltered Creepypasta, there are numerous embellishments and, parodies (some of which are actually pretty funny) and plenty of examples of fan art, often in the form of amusing or horrifying comic strips.
I think it says a great deal about people that at the time of writing some 1,528,290 have watched and viewed the original video and a comparatively mere 611,643 have watched Protoma’s truth revealed post. The truth is out there, but people are choosing to still spread the scary story.

As horror fans, we know that frightening oneself can deliver a tremendous thrill. The spread of tales such as Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, shows that the rest of the world may be discovering that thrill too.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay. 

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