The symbol of DarkHarvest00
November 26, 2010
33 Log Entries, 4 Gregs Logs, 7 updates, 17 Unnumbered, 18 accompanying videos
Origin and Series Runthrough
Series spoilers follow.
DarkHarvest00 follows strange happenings in the lives of two young friends named Chris and Alex, and the people around them. The series begins with a short video showing possible paranormal activity in the main protagonist Chris's house. What is initially thought of as a ghostly haunting quickly changes gears and becomes suspicion of a possible stalker after Chris receives a mysterious email (sent from his own address). Three JPEGs are attached, two of which are photos taken inside his own bedroom and given the file names "Mortem Obire," which translates to "going to meet death." After a television turns itself on during a night-time recording, it seems as though there is something paranormal going on after all. The series' proxy is eventually introduced, known as KindVonDerRitter .
In Log Entry #11, the first major glimpse of a proxy as well as Slender Man himself is shown as Alex and Chris chase down a man in a white mask, assumed by some to be KindVonDerRitter. In Log Entry #12, the character of Greg is introduced. As Chris and Alex are leaving Greg's house, they notice the masked stranger lurking across the street. When they go to confront him, the stranger — now undeniably dangerous — pulls a knife, chasing the two back into Greg's house. Greg reveals that he has been seeing the masked man for almost half a year, and the duo advises him to begin taping himself, which he does.
In Log Entry #14-1 and #14-2, several teenagers as well as Chris and Alex are alarmed to find that after being invited to a party at Greg's home, all of the doors in the house are locked, all of the lights are out, and nobody is answering. Aware of his dangerous situation, and the fact that he is alone, Chris sneaks into the house through a window. The video emits a tone that grows louder and the coloration drastically distorts as he discovers the presence of Slender Man, who has disemboweled Greg in the basement. Chris tries to flee but blacks out. The rest of the gang manages to break in and call for an ambulance. Chris is safe but Greg dies before reaching the hospital. In Update #3, Slender Man is dubbed a mass serial killer named "The Tall Man" who is investigated by a mysterious detective named Amsel.
Alex and Chris search an area across from Greg's house known as Rainwood Day Camp, a children's camp closed down in 1958 following the unexplained disappearance of 72 children in a single night, which police at the time attributed to "The Tall Man." (This later sends up a red flag to the boys, who realize this killer must be "really old" if Detective Amsel is right.) It reopened in 1965, and was finally condemned for demolition in 1998.
At the camp they discover a series of graffiti, depicting the Operator Symbol as well as the series trademark symbol, a diamond encompassing a circle with opposite vertices connected by lines, forming four right triangles. More importantly, they discover a small black notebook entitled "The Collective Knowledge" with the same symbols on the cover. The notebook seems to have descriptions of the symbols and other strange information. After finding a government document within the Black Book describing something called the "Princeton Experiment" taking place at a location in north Jersey, the team decides to investigate. At the Atlantic Test Site, they do not find any physical evidence, but they are approached and chased by KindVonDerRitter. In their second visit to the Day Camp, they discover a mural depicting the Slender Man as well as a man in a white mask. The stress of recent events provokes an intense argument between Chris and Alex.
Alex and Chris do some online research and discover a man named Daniel is posting similar information to theirs on his own blog called "Project Egypt ". Slender Man gains another name, given to him by the ancient Egyptians, a god of death known as Gorr'Rylaehotep. Alex receives a video file emailed to him (from himself) which shows a video in which several people in white masks perform a sacrificial ritual while chanting in a foreign language, thus revealing the involvement of some form of religious cult.
In Log #19, Alex and Chris search through the woods nearby Alex's home in which they find three white masks and three bags of rotting flesh hanging from trees. As they progress further, they encounter a man dressed in similar attire to the Slender Man who chases them out to an open field. Once in the field, they encounter the real Slender Man, who chases them back to Alex's house. They hide in a basement for several minutes before making their way back upstairs with an axe in hand. The last seconds of the video show Slender Man leaning over to enter the room, only a few feet away. The video cuts out, and we have no knowledge of what happens next; however, we can assume Slender Man simply retreated, as both boys remained unharmed.
Some days later at a neighborhood garage sale, Chris finds a lockbox marked with the diamond-shaped cult symbol. He is unable to purchase it, but does find that the girl who owns it is Heather McComber, the granddaughter of Marc McComber, who previously lived in Chris' house, and vanished under mysterious circumstances. After several mock interviews, they manage to open the box without Heather's knowledge and discover several military documents which shed new light on the aforementioned "Princeton Experiment". The duo consults Daniel, who advises them not to post the documents online to avoid possible legal reprisal, and arranges for them to meet with a representative of the Rainwood Memorial Elementary School. The school is eerily deserted, and — in his most detailed appearance yet — Slender Man is shown observing the boys as they make their way in an elevator, thinking they are heading to the third floor, only to be inexplicably delivered to the basement.
The representative is an old friend and current teacher named Matt, who gives them several floppy disks retrieved from Rainwood Day Camp. The floppy disks data is corrupted, but the coding shows the title and episode number of a History Channel TV program called Unsolved Conspiracies. The two track down the original pilot episode, which depicts a ritual to summon the Egyptian god, Gorr'Rylaehotep, as well as the scientist who discovered the tablet, and the experiments surrounding it.
On February 24th, the cult known as The Order — somehow aware the boys possess the documents from the lockbox — invades Chris's house to retrieve them and stabs him, leaving him to bleed out in his own bathtub. He survives, but acts quiet and reserved towards everyone for several days, presumably suffering from PTSD. In Entry #23, Heather McComber reveals more information about her grandfather Marc and her father, in which they were a part of the cult. Marc tried to leave, but was sent to a mental institution by Heather's father. On the Project Egypt blog, Daniel's researches reveal that the institution to which Marc McComber was committed had already been targeted for closure by the state for its history of abuse towards patients, and Daniel believes Marc may have died there shortly after his admission, despite records claiming Marc was transferred.
Alex and Chris meet Greg's brother, Jeff, who has found the tapes Greg recorded of himself before his death. The first video is uneventful and only reveals that he was being stalked, an already known fact. Daniel, head of Project Egypt, turns up to meet with Alex, Chris, and Jeff. Daniel reveals that he has been doing research on "the Darknet," and found no evidence that Detective Amsel is an actual agent of any government service, or even a detective at all, and should not be trusted. Daniel has also learned that the Rainwood and Amsel families were all part of a group in Hamburg known as Novus Ordo Europa ("The New Order of Europe") at the turn of the 20th century, and that genealogical records of both families stop abruptly in the 1930's, around the same time as the theft of the tablet described in the Unsolved Conspiracies program from the British Museum. The Order itself disbanded in 1958, around the same time as the Princeton Experiments.
The second compiled video of Greg's footage reveals his paranoia, and a very up close encounter with Slender Man himself. Most importantly, Greg's Log #3 reveals how a friend named Jesse is a member of the cult, and comforts Greg into thinking The Order can offer him safety, information, and peace of mind. Greg accepts and joins the New Jersey chapter, suggesting there are several chapters of the cult across the country and possibly the world. The cult believes that because Greg came into contact with Slender Man and was not killed, he is blessed in some way. But Greg was initiated only ten days before he was eventually killed. The Overseer of the local chapter of the Order mentions a "Supreme Overseer Lawrence Rainwood," implying the Rainwood family has something to do with the cult's activities.
In Log Entry 27, it is seen that Chris and Alex have captured Jessie. The interrogation yields little, but at length Jessie reveals that the Order believe Chris and Alex to be "Harbingers," or enemies of the Order bent on ignorance and destruction. Jessie tells them that the Order will never stop hunting them, but before more can be revealed, lights appear in the distance, and Chris and Alex are forced to release Jessie to avoid being caught interrogating him by the police.
In Log Entry 28, Chris and Alex learn from the news that Jesse was found dead, decapitated, in a shallow grave, in mid march. In May, they receive a DVD from the Order of the execution ceremony, in which The Order reveals that they cannot kill Alex and Chris, the "harbingers," because sacred prophecy has dictated Slender Man would be the one to do so; however, they warn the two that should they ever mettle in the affairs of the Order again, their loved ones would be slaughtered, and they would be kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured until the end of their days.
Crossover with TribeTwelve
Noah Maxwell of the ARG TribeTwelve discovered that the woman he has been searching for was a member of the precursor to the Order (The Novus Ordo Europa) in DarkHarvest00. Noah proceeds to contact Daniel and set up a meeting with Chris and Alex. The Observer, or possibly one of his counterparts, followed and watched the activities of Noah. Reluctantly and suspiciously, Chris and Alex make a deal with Noah that they would take him to the woods and give him an interview with the Order, so long as he does not mention their names.
Noah travels into the woods and interviews a lone member of the cult while many masked members stay hidden amongst the forest. It is revealed that the Order does not have any significant information as to the origin or goals of the Slender Man, and they hope that Noah has the answers. When Noah reveals he knows nothing, Slender Man appears before them and the cult members drop down on their knees in worship. One member throws himself in front of the Slender Man and pleads that he takes him into the "Fourth World", where Slender Man apparently originates. The lone worshiper vanishes, with only his clothes remaining, and Slender Man begins to slaughter the fleeing cult members while Noah runs in a panic. Having grown worried and impatient, Alex begins to walk into the woods after Noah, but does not get far before Noah comes running along with the panicked cult members. Noah and Alex jump into the car, and the DarkHarvest00 crew begin to interrogate Noah when their car shuts off and no longer responds. Slender Man appears in front of the truck, and tosses the dead, mangled body of a cult member onto the windshield before transporting them to an unknown beach at an unknown time, where Chris and Alex abandon Noah in a fit of rage after learning that Noah revealed their names to the Order by accident. Noah calls Daniel, who picks him up and reveals that three days had passed in the teleportation. Noah, glad to be alive and slightly in shock, does his best to laugh off the fear and goes to get ice cream with Daniel. The two parties exchanged their apologies over Twitter, but decide against another crossover.
Sometime after the Noah's meeting with the Order, Chris and Alex went in to hiding, in hopes of avoiding repercussions from the Cult. They decided to go on the offensive, and capture and interrogate Jessie to find out what he knew. They wanted to lure him in to the woods, chloroform him and take him away. As it turned out Jessie had set a trap for them. The Cult captured them, tied them up and were going to execute them by beheading. They attempted to get Jessie to execute Chris, but he refused. It was only the timely intervention of Jeff that saved the boys from certain death.
- Chris: The series' main protagonist. Chris began the series and records most of the footage. He is close friends with Alex and Greg, and currently lives in a house once owned by Marc McComber, a man who disappeared mysteriously several years previously. Throughout the series various things happen to him that pull him deeper and deeper in a complex game where he appears to be just a pawn.
- Alex: Alex is a close friend of Chris. He initially advises Chris and sympathizes with his situation, but it isn't before long that he is directly involved in the events transpiring around him.
- Greg Benson: A friend of Chris and Alex's who becomes the series' first victim of the Slender Man. Following months of stalking by the Gorr'Rylaehotep cult, he is persuaded to join for his own safety by a friend, Jesse, but is ironically murdered only ten days after his initiation. As yet, it is unclear why Greg was stalked for so long before the cult determined he was "blessed" for having encountered Slender Man and survived, or why he was killed by Slender Man so soon after joining.
- Jeff Benson: Greg's older brother Jeff has advised Chris and Alex after Greg's passing. He appears to be surprisingly experienced with weapons, computers and shady dealings.
- Heather McComber: The granddaughter of the man who previously lived in Chris's house. She knows very little about the secret society her father and grandfather were a part of, but is aware that it caused tension between the two. She becomes emotional when talking about them and tries not to. She was in possession of documents concerning the Princeton Experiment.
- Jesse Laurenzi: Jesse was a friend of Greg's, about whom little is known other than that Greg joined the Gorr-Rylaehotep cult at his persuasion. Alex, Chris and Jeff held Jesse responsible for Greg's murder, because he was present the night of the murder, but never said anything to anyone of his or Greg's involvement in the cult. After being interrogated, kidnapped, and threatened by Alex and Chris, he was forced to reveal cult secrets, which lead to his execution at the hands of his brotherhood.
- Matt Sharky: A young man who makes his first appearance on the night of Greg's death. He is assumed to be a friend of Greg's. He also works at the Rainwood Memorial Elementary School as Director of Activities. His role became more important in the story when he gave Alex and Chris floppy discs found at the old Day Camp, which led the group to the discovery of the "Unsolved Conspiracies " episode. This video detailed many events of the Princeton Experiment, as well as alluding to Slender Man's origins as a supposed Egyptian god of death by the name of Gorr'Rylaehotep.
- Gorr'Rylaehotep/Slender Man/The Tall Man: Slender Man appears with several differences in DarkHarvest00 than in most other ARGs. In DarkHarvest00, Slender Man is nine feet tall, with no face and a black suit as usual. While in most ARGs he appears with a flawless, straight posture, the DarkHarvest00 Slender Man appears often hunched over, with twitching limbs. It can also be noted that in most ARG's, Slender man only moves through Slenderwalking and teleportation, where as in DarkHarvest00 he sometimes physically walks with his own two legs. The best view of Slender Man comes from the video "Rainwood Memorial Elementary School ". As per the original mythos, Slender Man is a murderous being who steals organs and is responsible for the death of Greg in "Greg's Final Log ".
Chris, Alex and Jesse make a cameo appearance in the EverymanHYBRID video entry "Noah ," which also serves to crossover EMH with TribeTwelve. The EMH team meet them as their car is inexplicably broken down on the side of the road, and when Evan jokingly talks about using magic to get it started, the car starts up on its own. The appearance seems intended as an in-joke for fans, and doesn't link the two series' narratives.
The TribeTwelve video "The Manifest", posted August 24, 2012, begins a formal crossover with DarkHarvest00, as TT protagonist Noah meets with blogger Daniel Shipman, who promises to introduce him to Chris and Alex. Both the DH entry "Log #25" and the TT entry "The Order" depict Noah's meeting with the Order. The connection continues in the TT video "Case Findings" and DH entry "the last three months - part 1" and "the last three months - part 2", where Noah sends them money following the deaths of their families.