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|“||Spread the word.||„|
|~ Smile Dog's famous quote|
The "Smile Dog" is a fictional supernatural entity which was the focus of the story Smile.jpg - which grew into an internet meme in a similar manner to BEN, Zalgo, Jeff the Killer, Slender Man and alot more.
Smile Dog is believed to be a demonic creature resembling a grinning dog which appears in a photograph, when it is viewed by an individual, the victim will be plagued by tormenting and traumatizing nightmares. These dreams will always feature of the Smile Dog. In it, the victim will usually ask what it wants. To which it replies with it's famous line "Spread the word". What he means by this is that he's asking (or, to put it bluntly, blackmailing) that they attach the file and send it to other people. Deleting or simply not viewing the picture will result in the same thing. If Smile Dog's wish is not granted after three days, the picture will mutate and deform, depicting a much more disturbing and demonic form of Smile Dog (which many fans and theorists have depicted as Smile Dog's True Form). Thus, amplifying his already terrifying powers to a demonic new level. And worsening the nightmares of his victims just as much.
Smile Dog is very persistence in it's goals; able to continue psychologically torment and haunt it's victim(s) in their dreams for months (or even years) until they either "spread the word" or they commit suicide (the latter happening much more often). Or they will simply try to avoid sleeping, resulting in death from sleep deprivation and malnourishment (which may be caused by the victim's extreme fear to make them disinterested in it). In some variations of the story, after an extremely long period of resistance, Smile Dog will finally manifest into the real world and will haunt and plague the victim in the real waking world as well as their dream world. If the victim continues to resist, after an extremely long time enough to wear down Smile Dog's patience, he will finally manifest into the real world and finally end the victim's suffering, by viciously, and painfully killing them. And, even further, one story even mentions Smile Dog dragging the souls of his victims down to hell with him.
There are some who say, that the origins of Smile Dog come from an original picture of The Devil himself.
The Original Creepypasta
(originally written by an unknown author)
Smile Dog's story consists of a classic horror set-up – an amateur writer visits the house of a lady who supposedly has a story for which he can borrow from. Rather than speak, however, the lady has locked herself up in her room, crying and ranting about nightmares and visions and various other problems. All of these center around a floppy disk she had been given that contain the image smile.jpg – which is smile.dog. Other cases of this have cropped up...
Viewing this image incites insanity, and no copy of the exact image exists on the web though likenesses of it do. The true image of smile.jpg is recognized due to the effect it has on the viewer – that is, they wind up dead. Attaching the file – that is, spreading the word, is the only way to save oneself from the smile. dog that appears in one's dreams demanding to spread the word. Some say that the original legend began with an image of the devil. I first met in person with Mary E. in the summer of 2007. I had arranged with her husband of fifteen years, Terence, to see her for an interview. Mary had initially agreed, since I was not a newsman but rather an amateur writer gathering information for a few early college assignments and, if all went according to plan, some pieces of fiction. We scheduled the interview for a particular weekend when I was in Chicago on unrelated business, but at the last moment Mary changed her mind and locked herself in the couple's bedroom, refusing to meet with me. For half an hour I sat with Terence as we camped outside the bedroom door, I listening and taking notes while he attempted fruitlessly to calm his wife.
The things Mary said made little sense but fit with the pattern I was expecting: though I could not see her, I could tell from her voice that she was crying, and more often than not her objections to speaking with me centered around an incoherent diatribe on her dreams — her nightmares. Terence apologized profusely when we ceased the exercise, and I did my best to take it in stride; recall that I wasn't a reporter in search of a story, but merely a curious young man in search of information. Besides, I thought at the time, I could perhaps find another, similar case if I put my mind and resources to it.
Mary E. was the sysop for a small Chicago-based Bulletin Board System in 1992 when she first encountered smile.jpg and her life changed forever. She and Terence had been married for only five months. Mary was one of an estimated 400 people who saw the image when it was posted as a hyperlink on the BBS, though she is the only one who has spoken openly about the experience. The rest have remained anonymous, or are perhaps dead.
In 2005, when I was only in tenth grade, smile.jpg was first brought to my attention by my burgeoning interest in web-based phenomena; Mary was the most often cited victim of what is sometimes referred to as "Smile.dog", the being smile.jpg is reputed to display. What caught my interest (other than the obvious macabre elements of the cyber-legend and my proclivity toward such things) was the sheer lack of information, usually to the point that people don't believe it even exists other than as a rumor or hoax.
It is unique because, though the entire phenomenon centers on a picture file, that file is nowhere to be found on the internet; certainly many photo manipulated simulacra litter the web, showing up with the most frequency on sites such as the imageboard 4chan, particularly the /x/-focused paranormal subboard. It is suspected these are fakes because they do not have the effect the true smile.jpg is believed to have, namely sudden onset temporal lobe epilepsy and acute anxiety.
This purported reaction in the viewer is one of the reasons the phantom-like smile.jpg is regarded with such disdain, since it is patently absurd, though depending on whom you ask the reluctance to acknowledge smile.jpg's existence might be just as much out of fear as it is out of disbelief.
Neither smile.jpg nor Smile.dog is mentioned anywhere on Wikipedia, though the website features articles on such other, perhaps more scandalous shocksites as ****** (hello.jpg) or 2girls1cup; any attempt to create a page pertaining to smile.jpg is summarily deleted by any of the encyclopedia's many admins.
Encounters with smile.jpg are the stuff of internet legend. Mary E.'s story is not unique; there are unverified rumors of smile.jpg showing up in the early days of Usenet and even one persistent tale that in 2002 a hacker flooded the forums of humor and satire website Something Awful with a deluge of Smile.dog pictures, rendering almost half the forum's users at the time epileptic.
It is also said that in the mid-to-late 90s that smile.jpg circulated on usenet and as an attachment of a chain email with the subject line "SMILE!! GOD LOVES YOU!" Yet despite the huge exposure these stunts would generate, there are very few people who admit to having experienced any of them and no trace of the file or any link has ever been discovered.
Those who claim to have seen smile.jpg often weakly joke that they were far too busy to save a copy of the picture to their hard drive. However, all alleged victims offer the same description of the photo: A dog-like creature (usually described as appearing similar to a Siberian husky), illuminated by the flash of the camera, sits in a dim room, the only background detail that is visible being a human hand extending from the darkness near the left side of the frame. The hand is empty, but is usually described as "beckoning". Of course, most attention is given to the dog (or dog-creature, as some victims are more certain than others about what they claim to have seen). The muzzle of the beast is reputedly split in a wide grin, revealing two rows of very white, very straight, very sharp, very human-looking teeth.
This is, of course, not a description given immediately after viewing the picture, but rather a recollection of the victims, who claim to have seen the picture endlessly repeated in their mind's eye during the time they are, in reality, having epileptic fits. These fits are reported to continue indeterminably, often while the victims sleep, resulting in very vivid and disturbing nightmares. These may be treated with medication, though in some cases, it is more effective than others. Mary E., I assumed, was not on effective medication. That was why after my visit to her apartment in 2007 I sent out feelers to several folklore- and urban legend-oriented newsgroups, websites, and mailing lists, hoping to find the name of a supposed victim of smile.jpg who felt more interested in talking about his experiences. For a time nothing happened and at length I forgot completely about my pursuits, since I had begun my freshman year of college and was quite busy. Mary contacted me via email, however, near the beginning of March 2008.
Subj: Last summer's interview
Dear Mr. L., I am incredibly sorry about my behavior last summer when you came to interview me. I hope you understand that it was no fault of yours, but rather my own problems that led me to act out as I did. I realized that I could have handled the situation more decorously; however, I hope you will forgive me. At the time, I was afraid.
You see, for fifteen years I have been haunted by smile.jpg. Smile.dog comes to me in my sleep every night. I know that sounds silly, but it is true. There is an ineffable quality about my dreams, my nightmares, that makes them completely unlike any real dreams I have ever had. I do not move and do not speak. I simply look ahead, and the only thing ahead of me is the scene from that horrible picture. I see the beckoning hand, and I see Smile.dog. It talks to me.
It is not a dog, of course, though I am not quite sure what it really is. It tells me it will leave me alone if only I do as it asks. All I must do, it says, is "spread the word". That is how it phrases its demands. And I know exactly what it means: it wants me to show it to someone else.
And I could. The week after my incident I received in the mail a manila envelope with no return address. Inside was only a 3 ½ -inch floppy diskette. Without having to check, I knew precisely what was on it.
I thought for a long time about my options. I could show it to a stranger, a coworker… I could even show it to Terence, as much as the idea disgusted me. And what would happen then? Well, if Smile.dog kept its word I could sleep. Yet if it lied, what would I do? And who was to say something worse would not come for me if I did as the creature asked?
So I did nothing for fifteen years, though I kept the diskette hidden amongst my things. Every night for fifteen years Smile.dog has come to me in my sleep and demanded that I spread the word. For fifteen years I have stood strong, though there have been hard times. Many of my fellow victims on the BBS board where I first encountered smile.jpg stopped posting; I heard some of them committed suicide. Others remained completely silent, simply disappearing off the face of the web. They are the ones I worry about the most.
I sincerely hope you will forgive me, Mr. L., but last summer when you contacted me and my husband about an interview I was near the breaking point. I decided I was going to give you the floppy diskette. I did not care if Smile.dog was lying or not, I wanted it to end. You were a stranger, someone I had no connection with, and I thought I would not feel sorrow when you took the diskette as part of your research and sealed your fate.
Before you arrived I realized what I was doing: was plotting to ruin your life. I could not stand the thought, and in fact I still cannot. I am ashamed, Mr. L., and I hope that this warning will dissuade you from further investigation of smile.jpg. You may in time encounter someone who is, if not weaker than I, then wholly more depraved, someone who will not hesitate to follow Smile.dog's orders. Stop while you are still whole.
Terence contacted me later that month with the news that his wife had killed herself. While cleaning up the various things she'd left behind, closing email accounts and the like, he happened upon the above message. He was a man in shambles; he wept as he told me to listen to his wife's advice. He'd found the diskette, he revealed, and burned it until it was nothing but a stinking pile of blackened plastic. The part that most disturbed him, however, was how the diskette had hissed as it melted. Like some sort of animal, he said. I will admit that I was a little uncertain about how to respond to this. At first I thought perhaps it was a joke, with the couple belatedly playing with the situation in order to get a rise out of me. A quick check of several Chicago newspapers' online obituaries, however, proved that Mary E. was indeed dead. There was, of course, no mention of suicide in the article. I decided that, for a time at least, I would not further pursue the subject of smile.jpg, especially since I had finals coming up at the end of May.
But the world has odd ways of testing us. Almost a full year after I'd returned from my disastrous interview with Mary E., I received another email:
To: jml@****.com From: elzahir82@****.com Subj: smile
Hello 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.
The final line chilled me to the bone.
According to my email client there was one file attachment called, naturally, smile.jpg. I considered downloading it for some time. It was mostly likely a fake, I imagined, and even if it weren't I was never wholly convinced of smile.jpg's peculiar powers. Mary E.'s account had shaken me, yes, but she was probably mentally unbalanced anyway. After all, how could a simple image do what smile.jpg was said to accomplish? What sort of creature was it that could break one's mind with only the power of the eye?
And if such things were patently absurd, then why did the legend exist at all?
If I downloaded the image, if I looked at it, and if Mary turned out to be correct, if Smile.dog came to me in my dreams demanding I spread the word, what would I do? Would I live my life as Mary had, fighting against the urge to give in until I died? Or would I simply spread the word, eager to be put to rest? And if I chose the latter route, how could I do it? Whom would I burden in turn?
If I went through with my earlier intention to write a short article about smile.jpg, I decided, I could attach it as evidence. And anyone who read the article, anyone who took interest, would be affected. And even assuming the smile.jpg attached to the email was genuine, would I be capricious enough to save myself in that manner?
Could I spread the word?
Yes. Yes I could.
Another Smile Dog Story
The Smile Dog
(I will get the name of the author as soon as I can)
You've heard of Smile Dog, right? That terrifying picture of a husky smiling in a demonic way? Yeah, that one. I was looking at internet memes and scary stories a few months ago. I stumbled across an Urban Legend video I found interesting. I watched the video and it told a few basic facts about spontaneous human combustion and sleep paralysis. The video also contained a couple of screamers to kill the mood a little. The end story was of Smile Dog. It simply presented the picture and told the viewer the legend. I researched it a bit more and found it terrifying, but quite cool. I began talking about it at school to my friends the next day. And it turned into something of a common interest. People would often use it in a jokingly fashion; like in a history lesson our teacher told us. "He collapsed on the floor." My friend leaned towards me and said "I guess he saw Smile Dog". And it would often make us laugh. We then found other stories such as Red Mist or Squidward's Suicide, Candle Cove, then we dropped the subject of Smile Dog after that. In our school, we often talked to this boy, and his name was Michael. He was a strange child; he never spoke to us and he would often keep to himself. And we'd have no idea where he would be at lunch time. He wouldn't be hanging out with us, but we found it to be not of our concern. He'd often leave lessons early to visit a hospital; as he was a rather sickly child. He only told me a few of his inflictions: the most notable being Epilepsy and Schizophrenia. He never showed any signs of these though. If you mentioned them, he would often laugh it off and dismiss them. He approached me one day and inquired about Smile Dog. I replied "Oh that thing? Yeah, it's obviously fake."
"Can I see it?"
"I didn't save it or anything"
"Just look it up ok?!"
I was busy with homework at the time, and when people try to talk to me I'm very irritable. He walked of without looking back. But, I didn't see Michael that day. He was supposed to be in a few of our lessons, but he wasn't he there. Nobody, not even the teachers knew where he was. It was after our first lesion that I was called into the headmaster's office. The headmaster sat me down in front of his desk and told me..
"Your friend Michael has been instated into a mental institution. He apparently saw something scary and he kept having visions of it. He you any idea what that might me?"
And I immediately remembered Smile Dog.
The headmaster immediately brought up his computer. Now is faced with the Google search engine. I changed the engine to "Images" and typed in "Smile Dog". I showed the headmaster the full unedited of Smile Dog.
"Oh my" he said
And told me that Michael would probably like to see me. He immediately arranged for transport for me to the mental institution. I entered the colossal building with the headmaster, where we were stopped by a doctor.
He said "Michael only wants to see his friend I'm afraid."
The headmaster gave me a bewildered look and said "That's fine, I'll see you in two minutes." I strolled down the large intimidating corridor and reached room 204. The room had a patted floor, a wall, and a light. No windows except for a minuscule viewing spot through the door. I walked in..and almost vomited. Michael was lying face-down in the middle of the room with his hands still gripped tight around his neck. He was dead. there was a hastily scrawled not next to him.
It was for me.
I saw that Smile Dog picture that you showed me. It's everywhere; no matter what we do, it can't be stopped. It appears in the brightest moments of your life. It will always be watching, never moving. It will not go away. Why did they have to put me in this room? Why did I have to be trapped in the godforsaken room? I had no escape, no matter how much the doctors kicked off they wouldn't believe me! This is the only way out I guess. What if the dog's still there during death? When you're weak and incapacitated, it'll drag you down to hell from where it once came. This is the really, Josh. Do not EVER mention Smile Dog to anyone else ever again.
I pocketed the note and alerted the doctors. Upon further exception of his body, his hand was blocking a horrifying, vicious bite into his neck. The teeth marks matched that of a dog's..a Siberian Husky. I keep going over and over that note in my head. I can't believe it, he was such a nice boy. And I regret every single bad thing I ever said to him. Why did it have to end this way for him? There's a small part in my head saying I'm responsible and another proportion believes that this is all just fake and that I should have been more aware of Michael's afflictions. The only problem is that I'm running out of options to believe here. And I didn't know Schizophrenia was contagious..but I keep seeing that damn little dog in the corner of my eye everywhere I go. It's starting to get on my nerves.
Wait a minute...is that....no....I hear panting and scratching at my door. Let me go investigate. (from here it is implied that the Smile Dog murders Josh and leaves one final message at the end of the story).
Spread the word
written by Aaron Shotwell
This story serves as a sequel to the original Smile Dog story.
I'm tired of running; I'm tired of playing damage control. No one should suffer like this. That wicked human-like grin, those menacing eyes, and that beckoning hand every night. The same image, the same demon demanding me to spread the word. I tried to protect you all, I really tried. But it has finally gotten the best of me. It's just too much, I'm just too tired to go on. And I hope the account of Mary E would be the I'd ever hear. When I deleted that email and the attached image file, I has hoping to leave it all behind me. My curiosity went unsatisfied, but it was for the best. If the monster behind the picture was real, if Smile Dog truly existed, I wouldn't be able to bare the temptation. I'd sacrifice some poor unexpected soul to that thing to save my own skin. I knew that and so I washed my hands of it then and there. I never imagined it would follow me. After graduation, I left my hometown to further my career in journalism. Just me and my handheld camera looking to film something to catch the attention of the news station of my choice. I needed something to get my foot in the door; Something that would lead to greater things in the future. Around a year into searching for my destiny, roaming from city to city, it found me in the most traumatic way possible...and nearly killed me. On a stretch of I-90 between South Dakota and Montana, I watched in horror as an 18-wheeler drifted over the rails of an overpass and plummeted into oncoming traffic. That crashed into the ground in an upside-down heap of twisted metal near feet from my car. If I had not slammed on my brakes at the precise moment I would not be alive to tell this story. And in hindsight, that probably would be for the best. Expressed as I was however, a few others weren't so fortunate. As the trailer screeched into the south board lane, two oncoming SUVs plowed into the wreckage at over 90 mph one after the other. They didn't even have time to react. It was over in an instant, no survivors. I sat there for what felt like hours in a daze. Not completely sure if I'd survived. I could hear sirens approaching, and they brought me back to reality for my stupor. I'm not proud of it, but I saw an opportunity and I took it. The sight made my gorge rise more than once. But I spent the next few minutes walking the perimeter of the accident filming everything I could. Twisted and bloody corpses behind the steering wheels, plumes of black smoke rising from crumpled hoods, the hot haze of rising flames; and then I saw it. The semi's driver-side door ripped from it's hinges and the driver laid on his back in the overturned cab. His arm outstretched into the street. And there, there it lay. Just beyond his fingertips, signed in one of the corners and splashed with blood an old floppy disk with three words scrawled on it's label.
"Spread the Word"
I starred at it stunned, and Mary's final words came flooding back to memory. I still don't know what I believe or even if that disk contained a monster that haunted her dreams for so long. For all I knew, it could have been a coincidence. But I wouldn't risk it. I crushed it underfoot and stomped it into a scattering of plastic shards and threw the remains into the fire rising from the first SUV's engine. If Smile Dog was behind this tragedy, I wouldn't let it take any more innocent victims. That footage proved to be the breakthrough I was waiting for. The director of a local news studio received it with great enthusiasm. And he paid me more than I could have hoped. Gore brings in ratings after all. He invited me to keep in touch and said that I was going places. It was a bittersweet feeling; especially when the story aired. As it turned out, the semi-driver had not been intoxicated, there had been no mechanical failures with his vehicle, and no history of suicidal tendencies. His death was a mystery. It was clear that he had let it happen, but nobody could discern the reason. But I knew; the lack of another more reasonable explanation cleared any doubts in my mind. It was his only escape from the nightmares. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be my last encounter with Smile Dog's curse. It seemed that blood and guts were my gateway to a real career. And I was going to give the director what he wanted. If I could prove myself as a freelancer. I thought, then maybe I could land a spot in the house. And from there who knows; Reporter/anchor? The skies' the limit. So I bought myself a police scanner then got to work. I had served for six months before it found me again. This time, in the back pocket of a jumper in Billings. Then a week later, lying near the person, a woman who ran into traffic in Whitefish. And a few days later, in the convenience store, where the owner pulled a shotgun in his mouth. I destroyed every copy I found; but they kept turning up. It was following me and I knew that for sure when a few weeks later, a package arrived at my doorstep. I didn't recognize the return address, but I knew what it was. I could hear it rattling inside just waiting to claim me like it claimed all the others. I wouldn't give it a chance. I tore it from the box and tossed it into a heated frying pan. Watching the plastic curl and melt, it screamed. It hissed with the agony of a dying animal just as it had for (will finish later)