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  • If you spend enough time on the internet, it's just a fact of life that you'll see

  • something you really wish you hadn't.

  • Maybe it's perennial shock-site classics like Two Girls One Cup, or some of the truly

  • horrific photos and footage of real-life death and murder floating around the web.

  • But what if we told you there was something even worse out therean image that, just

  • by looking at it, you might be driven to pain, madness, or even death?

  • That's exactly what we're here to discuss todaythe terrifying internet legend of

  • Smile Dog, the photo with the power to kill.

  • Smile Dog is the colloquial name for a seemingly innocent image file called Smile.jpg, that's

  • been floating around the internet since as early as 1992.

  • According to most sources, because of the image's place in internet folklore, there

  • are thousands of copycats out therenone that have the sinister and deadly power of

  • the original.

  • From the scattered reports of the image's victims, we do have a vague description: It's

  • a scan of a polaroid photo, featuring a dog that appears to be a Siberian husky against

  • a dark background.

  • The dog has a wide, almost human grin, with teeth that look like they simply don't belong

  • in the creature's face.

  • Worse yet, in the darkened corner to the left of the dog is a red hand, outstretched towards

  • the viewer.

  • Many of the people who've actually seen the image have described the hand asbeckoning.”

  • As though it's calling them into the darkness of the photo.

  • Some viewers have even speculated that this is the hand of the devil himself, calling

  • them down to the depths of Hell.

  • Naturally, as an intellectually curious viewer of The Infographics Show, you'll want to

  • search for this cursed image.

  • And don't worry, we're going to show it to youthat's right, the real, original

  • Smile.jpg.

  • But before we subject you to that, you have to understand what you're getting yourself

  • into here.

  • After all, if the legends are true, it might just change your life

  • While the stories about Smile.jpg have circulated the internet since the internet was a publicly

  • available commodity, the first true, solid, and widely available account of a person's

  • experience with Smile.jpg and Smile Dog appeared on 4Chan's paranormal board in 2008.

  • The paranormal board is the birthplace of a number of terrifying internet urban legends

  • and creepypastassuch as the malicious, shapeshifting Goat Man, the deadly Daruma-San

  • Bath Ritual, and an infamous porcelain doll with living, wriggling innards.

  • A frightening tale like that of the Smile Dog would be right at home on this hub of

  • the strange and paranormal, but the story's haunting details still stuck with everyone

  • unlucky enough to read them

  • It began with someone who was just curious, not unlike you.

  • They were a young, aspiring writer in college, searching for interesting stories that might

  • inspire some exciting new fictionbut they stumbled on a horror that was all too

  • real.

  • They put out the call for people with interesting stories on the internet, and got plenty of

  • duds.

  • You know, all the stories about that time someone's weird uncle caught a big one while

  • out fishing, or a kid could swear they saw something moving under their bed.

  • The young writer, identified only as Mr. L in the account, was ready to throw in the

  • towel and give up, when he received a strange correspondence from a man named Terence E

  • in the summer of 2007.

  • According to Terence, if Mr. L was looking for scary stories, his wife, Mary, had one

  • that would beat out all the rest.

  • Something genuinely terrifying.

  • Genuinely paranormal.

  • According to Terence, Mary had experienced a real encounter with the original smile.jpg

  • image, and nothing had been the same ever since.

  • It just so happened that Terence had contacted exactly the right person, as Mr. L had been

  • fascinated with the concept of Smile Dog ever since he was in the 10th Grade, back in 2005.

  • He could feel the mystery of the thing drawing him inthe desire to discover what nobody

  • else had ever discovered before.

  • Terence consulted Mary, and she agreed to an informal interview with Mr. L around a

  • month later.

  • The couple were based in Chicago, and Mr. L just happened to be in the area on unrelated

  • business.

  • Everything seemed to be falling into place, until Mr. L actually arrived at the home.

  • When he got there, eager to conduct his interview and potentially discover the truth behind

  • all this hearsay, Mary had barricaded herself in her bathroom.

  • She appeared to be having some kind of psychotic break, screaming and sobbing uncontrollably,

  • like she was afraid for her very life.

  • In particular, Mary was screaming about some strange nightmares she was experiencing, but

  • it was largely too incoherent to even tell what she was saying.

  • Terence tried his best to console her for Mr. L's interview, but it didn't do any

  • good.

  • From hours of sitting outside the bathroom and taking notes, he only managed to glean

  • the following story.

  • Mary was a system operator for a small Chicago-based Bulletin Board System in 1992, back when the

  • internet was in its relative infancy.

  • One day, a seemingly innocent hyperlink was posted on the board system.

  • She was one of around 400 to actually click the mysterious link, and was immediately transported

  • to Smile.jpg.

  • The other people who were exposed on that day remained anonymous, and their fates are

  • unknown, but if Mary's accounts and the legends are anything to go by, their stories

  • are unlikely to have had happy endings.

  • As Mr. L pressed for further details, Mary just sobbed and cried harder.

  • The woman was inconsolable, and Mr. L realised he'd probably gotten as much as he was going

  • to get from her.

  • Terence apologised for his wife's strange behaviour, and Mr. L thanked him and left.

  • This may have seemed like the end of things for most people, but for Mr. L, this was just

  • the start.

  • The hunt was on, and Mary's brief account had given him the scent.

  • He began gathering all the information he could on the mysterious file, its effects

  • on its victims, and the people it hurt.

  • But as the famous quote from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche goes, “He who fights

  • with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.

  • And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

  • Mr. L found that information on Smile.jpg wasn't available anywhere on major internet

  • information sources like Wikipedia.

  • In fact, he found that if anyone did attempt to add a reference to the cursed file on a

  • Wikipedia page, it would quickly be struck down by editors.

  • Who was trying to keep this thing buried, and why?

  • He also managed to discover a great deal more about the supposed effects of viewing the

  • file.

  • The most common effects included, on the mild end, severe anxiety and persistent night terrors,

  • and on the more severe end, hallucinations and temporal lobe epilepsywith seizures

  • most commonly occurring at night.

  • Naturally, as with anything on the internet that can cause harm, it was weaponized by

  • trolls and bad actors.

  • The image was often circulated on forums in the early Usenet days, and was allegedly once

  • used to flood the forums of humour and satire website Something Awful in 2002.

  • The result was a number of users developing severe anxiety, nightmares, and epilepsy.

  • Back in the mid to late nineties, the image circulated as all spooky things on the internet

  • did back then: By chain email.

  • The email would disguise itself as one of the number of feel-good chain emails that

  • did the rounds back then, with the innocuous subject lineSMILE!!

  • GOD LOVES YOU!”

  • But by the time you've opened the email and its attachment, it's already too late.

  • Plenty of people on the internet claim to have had experiences with Smile Dog, but the

  • veracity of these claims are in dispute.

  • During his investigations, Mr. L did notice some other legends with eerie commonalities

  • to the Smile.jpg tale he was investigating.

  • The most prominent was a story known asThe Grinning Man”, about a person who received

  • an email from a recently deceased friend with an image ofyou guessed it – a grinning

  • man.

  • However, after witnessing the image and an accompanying key phrase, the man's life

  • spiralled out of control, with the only way to lift the apparent curse being to pass it

  • on.

  • From the smiling to the horrific nightmares to the inevitable tragic end, could the two

  • things be connected?

  • There was no conclusive evidence on the matter, but Mr. L was sure to make a note of it for

  • further study.

  • Mr. L continued compiling research for an entire year, always haunted by the cries of

  • Mary coming through the bathroom door, and the thought of that smiling hound.

  • He discovered that many of the people who'd originally claimed to see the thing had fallen

  • off the map, and that some had tried to use medication to prevent the nightmares and the

  • epileptic fits that seemed to naturally accompany an incident with the image.

  • All it took was one lookjust one little look to change your life.

  • It felt like a somehow more eerily plausible version of the tape from The Ring.

  • At times, Mr. L wondered if the whole thing was just some elaborate hoax.

  • An online inside joke, and it was all on him.

  • Truth be told, he felt almost ready to give up, when he finally got a massive break in

  • the case: An email from Mary herself, explaining the whole situation.

  • Mr. L eagerly opened the correspondence, excited for his next lead, but what he saw shook him

  • to the core.

  • Mary explained that the image of the Smile Dog had been haunting her in her sleep for

  • years, repeatedly saying one thingSpread the word, spread the word.”

  • She experienced symptoms akin to sleep paralysisbeing frozen to the bed, and unable to

  • do anything but listen to the words of the demonic dog sitting in front of her.

  • Spread the word, spread the word.”

  • She told Mr. L that, a week after initially seeing Smile.jpg, a floppy disk containing

  • the image was mysteriously mailed to her home.

  • Finally, she understood: Much like the Grinning Man that Mr. L had been investigating, the

  • Smile Dog wanted her to pass the image on and use it to inflict the curse upon others.

  • That would be the only way to stop suffering from the symptoms herself.

  • The nightly seizures and visions she was experiencing were so horrific that she was tempted to pass

  • it on to others, and even contemplated potential options: A co-worker, a stranger, or even

  • her husband, Terence.

  • Mary decided against it, and instead hid the floppy disk away for years, until she finally

  • found a person she could potentially pass the curse ontoMr. L himself.

  • However, as she was plotting to pass on the curse to him and ruin his life, she decided

  • against it at the last minutehence her breakdown in the bathroom upon his visit.

  • Realising it's already too late for her, and wracked with guilt over what she almost

  • did, Mary signed off the email with a harrowing final message for Mr. L.

  • Stop while you are still whole.”

  • Later that month, Mr. L received another email from Terence, telling him that Mary had taken

  • her own life shortly after sending the last email to him.

  • She just couldn't take the suffering anymore.

  • Terence also informed Mr. L that he'd found and destroyed the floppy disk by setting it

  • on fireadding that the plastic gave a snake-like hiss as it burnt and shrivelled,

  • destroying yet another copy of the cursed image once and for all.

  • Mr. L was ready to hang up his hat and close the investigation into Smile.jpg.

  • People had suffered and even died, and just as Mary had advised him to, he was going to

  • quit while he was ahead.

  • It was a couple months later, when he'd almost forced the whole nasty affair out of

  • his mind, that he saw a new email appear in his inbox with the subjectSmile.”

  • Without even thinking, he clicked on it, and by that point, it was already too late.

  • The text in the body of the email, littered with spelling and grammatical errors, said:

  • “I found your e-mail adress thru a mailing list your profile said you are interested

  • in smiledog.

  • I have saw it it is not as bad as every one says I have sent it to you here.

  • Just spreading the word.”

  • And the rest is spooky internet history.

  • Now, you've heard the story, and you know all the horrors this strange little photo

  • is said to be able to unleash.

  • Maybe it's all just an urban legend, or a hoax, or mass hysteria.

  • After all, how much damage can one picture do?

  • But hey, if you want to be safe, you can always send this video to a couple friends and

  • Spread the word.

  • Check outHow A Meme (Slender Man) Became RealandRussian Sleep ExperimentEXPLAINED

  • for more chilling internet oddities.

If you spend enough time on the internet, it's just a fact of life that you'll see

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Smile Dog (Creepypasta) - EXPLAINED

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    Summer posted on 2020/08/24
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