Updated: Aug 21, 2020
by Bryanna Gary
The SCP Foundation is one giant collaborative project made up of a community of amazing writers coming together to write some real scary (and sometimes funny, sometimes sad) shit. From urban legend-esque monsters that keep you up at night to horrifying body horror plagues, there's no limit to the strange objects, monsters, people, illnesses, events, and all things in between that you can find on this site.
When I was first introduced to the SCP Foundation, I started out by reading them in order (SCP-001, SCP-002, SCP-003, etc, etc). While I loved a lot of the SCPs I came across by reading that way, I found that I began to really get into the Foundation when I just went nuts and started reading whichever ones sounded the most interesting. "Ooo, a train ticket that probably sends you to some messed up alternate dimension? Yes, please." "Ooo, a bunch of cakes that replicate if they aren't eaten within a day and have the potential to overtake the entire world if left unchecked? Sign me up!" Needless to say, a lot of creativity goes into these SCPs, and with that creativity comes some impressively scary creatures, objects, and places. This is a list of some of my favorites.
I'm rating these SCPs on a number of different criteria: article rating (how well-written/enjoyable the article is), existential crisis level (how much this SCP makes me question our existence and the fragility and futility of it all), and whether or not painful deaths are involved. They often are.
Please note: As much as I'd love to be able to say I've read every single SCP there is, there's just way too many for that to be the case. These are my favorites of those that I've read so far, but you may disagree, and that's OK! If you have a favorite scary SCP that you wish had been included, I'd love to check it out, so be sure to leave it in the comments!
Object Class Guide for New Readers: Safe: Objects classified as Safe are fairly easy to contain and tend to be less dangerous than their Euclid and Keter counterparts. That does not mean, however, that Safe objects are entirely safe; it just means that whatever danger they pose can be more easily prevented and contained, and anyone who comes into contact with these objects should still exercise caution. Euclid: Less predictable than Safe objects, Euclid objects tend to be harder to contain and deadlier. However, following proper containment procedures usually means these objects don't pose too much of a threat so long as you're careful. They'll still probably kill you at some point, though. Keter: Unpredictable and extremely difficult to contain, Keter objects are also typically the most dangerous. In fact, in the event of a containment breach, if the Keter object in question is dangerous enough, nuking its entire containment site to neutralize it is not beyond the realm of possibility. Note: It is possible for objects originally classified as one class to be ranked up or ranked down depending on their behavior. See SCP-1048 as an example, which was moved from Safe classification to Keter after a certain incident.
10. SCP-643: The Cannibal Chocolates
Object Class: Safe What It Does: Anyone who eats these chocolates will become extremely appealing to those around them, and will be consumed. Why It Gets Its Classification: It's pretty easy to contain these. Just don't eat them and you should be fine. Article Rating: 6.5/10 Existential Crisis Level: 2/10 Painful Death? Being cannibalized alive sounds pretty painful, so I'd say yes. If you are new to the SCP Foundation and (understandably) overwhelmed by the myriad of articles you can read through, I highly recommend watching Tats TopVideos. They occasionally do SCP roundups where they list out scariest SCPs, not only reading out the articles but including footage and interviews that make these SCPs feel eerily realistic. It was through watching their "Top 18 Food & Beverage SCPs" on Youtube that I came across SCP-643. It's a common misconception that the object class rankings for SCPs are intended to represent how dangerous the object is, with Safe objects being the least dangerous and the most useful. SCP-643 is a good example of why "Safe" doesn't always mean, well, "safe." Imagine if chocolates like these were mass-produced, and unknowing civilians consumed them by the dozens. According to the article, the chocolates were originally discovered by the Foundation when several bakery employees cannibalized their co-workers and customers, which means these chocolates (or whatever method was used to create them) could pose a serious threat if left unchecked. I also couldn't seem to find whether or not the effects of SCP-643 ever wear off, so what if that means whoever eats these chocolates is condemned to becoming prey to literally everyone until they're finally caught and die a gruesome, cannibalistic death? These chocolates don't make me question reality too much--hence the lower existential crisis rating--but they do manage to make one of my favorite desserts just a little bit less appetizing. And that's good enough for me.
9. SCP-409: The Unfriendly Crystal
Object Class: Keter What It Does: Crystallizes anything that touches it Why It Gets Its Classification: I checked out the comments on this one and saw some people say it should be classified as Euclid because it's not all that difficult to contain. I agree with this, but also understand why it could still be classified as Keter since touching it even a little bit is basically a (horrific) death sentence. Not fun. Article Rating: 7/10 Existential Crisis Level: 2/10 Painful Death? Yep You remember that episode in Avatar: The Last Airbender where King Bumi puts a ring of Jennamite on Sokka and Katara's fingers and it slowly begins to engulf and suffocate them? This is basically the more fucked up version of that. According to the article, not only does it slowly envelop and suffocate victims--which is already terrifying in and of itself--but the SCP-409 process is a slow crystallization of the victim "inside and out" that is described as "extremely painful." If that's not bad enough, once the victim is entirely crystallized, they explode into thousands of fragments. Yep. The article, while short, does a terrific job of describing the process in a horrifying and graphic way. I ranked the existential crisis level pretty low, however, because while it is a terrifying SCP, it doesn't make me dread the reality of our existence itself; just makes me kinda scared of crystals.
8. SCP-823: The Angsty Amusement Park
Object Class: Euclid What It Does: Mysteriously kills anyone who enters its "Red Zone" Why It Gets Its Classification: It's responsible for the deaths of 231 park attendees and 7 SCP personnel by various gruesome and mysterious means, including, uh...eye penetration. Article Rating: 9/10 Existential Crisis Level: 5/10 Painful Death: Yep There's something about abandoned places meant to be filled with joy and innocence and laughing children that makes them incredibly eerie, and this takes it to the next level. SCP-823 has an unfortunate tendency to kill its guests, from fusing two attendees together "after emerging from the 'Tunnel of Love' dark ride" to dismembering guests in its house of mirrors. I consider this one of the more underrated SCPs. While, sure, abandoned theme parks have been seen in horror before, a part of this particular SCP that I'd overlooked when I read it the first time was the fact that its extremely dangerous, no-entry Red Zones are apparently growing over time. So what happens if it somehow grows out of control? Does that mean everyone could die a graphic, painful, and bizarre death at the hands of whatever entity made this amusement park so deadly? Does it turn places and objects meant to be fun and joyous like parks and arcades into horrifying death traps? No idea. And it's because of this that I'm in the camp that thinks this one should be upgraded to Keter, but its classification has (so far) stayed Euclid. I absolutely love the morbid instances of civilian deaths included in this article because it's one of those SCPs that remind you that any normal person in this universe could accidentally come across something as dangerous as this at any moment without realizing until they're decapitated while riding a roller coaster or fused to their significant other while smoochin' in the Tunnel of Love. I loved those examples so much that I had to give this one a high article rating. I rated its existential crisis level pretty low, though, because, like SCP-643 and SCP-409, it makes me fear the object itself but doesn't give me the deep existential dread that some of the others on this list do.
7. SCP-201: The Overly Familiar IV Stand
Object Class: Euclid What It Does: Transports anyone close to it to an alternate dimension where there appears to be no life anywhere. Why It Gets Its Classification: It's not too hard to keep it in one place once acquired. The problem is that it transports anyone who gets within 30 meters randomly. Article Rating: 7/10 Existential Crisis Level: 8.5/10 Painful Death? No, but staying trapped long enough will probably make you wish you were dead. I think this one was the first ones that actually gave me a deep sense of dread. Imagine something as innocuous as a crappy old IV stand randomly transporting you to an alternate version of our world where life apparently existed at one point, but there are absolutely no signs of it anywhere and the world is draped in permanent darkness? The article notes that everyone trapped in this alternate dimension was eventually transported back, but the length of time varies "between a few hours and upwards of eight years." Eight years. Can you imagine living in what is essentially a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no explanation as to why for as long as eight years? No one to talk to, nothing to do, no life at all other than your own? I would go insane. This is another one that I found on Tats TopVideos, and maybe that's why I wanted to put it here. The footage shown is incredibly eerie and disconcerting, and it's very hard to imagine being trapped on a lifeless, lightless planet for as long as eight years as one unlucky dude apparently did. And all because he was unfortunate enough to walk a little too close to an old IV stand. Had to give this one a high existential crisis rating. I could go on and on about the implications of an alternate dimension existing where everyone simply vanished all of a sudden--no bodies and no plant life, yet the remains of major cities are present--but the one thing I'll say that made me want to put this on the list is the fact that it's not known what came of that version of our world or why that IV stand drags people from our dimension to it, and that's more than scary enough.
6. SCP-2852: "Cousin Jonny": The VERY Overly Familiar Cousin
Object Class: Keter What It Does: Attends baptisms, weddings, and funerals, using some sort of mind-altering effect to appear as though he had always been part of the family. Starts some insane, borderline Satanic ritual at the event, forcing the guests to do some gross shit, then curses the family. Why It Gets Its Classification: The article notes that SCP-2852 can't be caught or prevented from messing up peoples' events. He's the ultimate wedding (and baptism, and funeral) crasher. Article Rating: 9.5/10 Existential Crisis Level: 6/10 Painful Death? Occasionally. Lots of gruesome suicides by those affected by this SCP. Who is Cousin Jonny, you ask? Why, he's always been here! He's a part of the family! He's here to celebrate the baptism of a newborn baby, the unification of a beautiful couple at their wedding, and/or the life of a deceased loved one at their funeral. He's hilarious and very personable. Maybe a little too personable, come to think of it... There's a lot to this article, and I highly recommend reading all of it. This SCP appears under three different circumstances, known as Blue-Level events (baptisms), White-Level events (weddings), and Black-Level events (funerals), and always brings disaster to the participants of every event it attends. The effects it has vary depending on the event itself, but some highlights include compelling the godparents to eat the skin of the baptized child during Blue-Level events, permanently psychologically and even physically damaging the children of couples married during a White-Level event, and compelling children attending a Black-Level event to consume a "mixture of blood, wood pulp, and dead Tibicen linnei" (cicadas) in a bowl. I just love how fucking weird this one is. This random Lovecraftian dude just pops into these specific events, starts a heinous ritual that the attendees don't question at all because they're so fucked up by whatever mind-altering effect he has on them, and basically puts a curse on the family once the event is over (depending on which event it was). If we wanted to get a little existential with it, we could even presume that, because Cousin Jonny can't be captured or prevented from being part of any event it wants to, maybe a lot of major relationship problems: divorce, domestic abuse, etc, are caused by SCP-2852. We just wouldn't realize it because part of the effect he has is that he immediately blends in with the family as if he'd "always been there." Crazy. I was pretty conflicted about how to rate the crisis level on this one because, while the existence of a being like that is confusing and might make one question its purpose (and maybe by extension, our purpose), it isn't quite as drastic a crisis level as something like an IV stand dragging you to a version of our world where we just ceased to exist.
5. SCP-1504: The Average Man Who Needs Therapy
Object Class: Keter What It Does: Appears to be an average man and conversations with him don't seem any more extraordinary than just small talk, but he's a living mind fuck whose words are interpreted in the most innocent and mundane way possible no matter how sinister. Why It Gets Its Classification: Well, it's not exactly easy to keep someone contained who can punch you in the face and make you think that you just got a random nose bleed. Everything this guy says and does is interpreted as completely normal. You can't contain someone you're tricked into believing doesn't need to be contained. Article Rating: 9/10 Existential Crisis Level: 7/10 Painful Death? Not really, but this dude could literally kill you and you would think it's totally normal. If he found a way to nuke a country, we'd probably dismiss it as a small oopsie. So that's pretty scary. This SCP is interesting in that you interpret every interaction with him in an entirely different and more mundane way than what is actually being said and done. At face value, that probably doesn't sound nearly as bad as a random man infiltrating your wedding and dooming your marriage with his unexplainable curse, but as you read through the article, it becomes very clear very fast just how dangerous someone like that is. The article does a brilliant job of presenting this average "Joe Schmo" who doesn't seem all that remarkable compared to the other crazy SCPs the Foundation encounters (he's even labeled in the first file "an unremarkable man who is unable to be harmed"), but it ends with a containment breach that wipes out the whole site, and we are later presented with the actual transcript of the conversation he has with his interviewer. Spoiler alert: it's a lot less "mundane" than it appeared the first time around. I think I wanted to rank the crisis level pretty high for this one because, unlike SCP-2852, which is apparently only limited to certain events at a time, SCP-1504 is a living reality warp. His very existence means you can't really trust anyone ever, because what if you're talking to someone exactly like him? It's not like you'd know. And I just found it both really impressive and really jarring that an SCP with abilities as seemingly simple as that could cause a site wide containment breach just because people...assumed he was an average dude. It's really creative and that's why I love this article so much. If you are ever looking for an SCP-focused channel, The Volgun has a great reading on this SCP and is an all-around awesome channel for immersing yourself in the SCP universe.
4. SCP-3008: Literally Every IKEA Ever
Object Class: Euclid What It Does: It appears to be a normal IKEA store until you walk in and suddenly find that you can't escape, ever. It's a huge endless maze from which there is (usually) no return...and lots of faceless store employees ready to fuck your day up. Why It Gets Its Classification: While it can be argued that this one could be classified as Safe since the Foundation pretty much has it contained, it's not known what makes it the way it is and there's no guarantee that other home furnishing retail stores around the world won't suddenly become as messed up as this one. So yeah, Euclid. Article Rating: 10/10 Existential Crisis Level: 8/10 Painful Death? Probably. You ain't leaving once you get stuck here. A lot of you have probably heard the running joke about IKEA that it's infinite. Well, this SCP takes that and runs with it. The Endless IKEA is just that...endless. Once you wander inside, the exit disappears and you're left to navigate a giant home furnishing store looking for a one in a million chance to find your way out again. To make matters worse, the store is inhabited by faceless, oddly-shaped "employees" who have no qualms about ripping you to pieces if they find you walking around at night when the store is supposed to be "closed." The real gem of this article is the journal written by a man who ended up trapped inside SCP-3008, where we learn about the groups that have formed over time and the fact that some people have been trapped inside for years. That's how hard the exit is to find, as it's ever-shifting and unlikely to be found in the same place twice. Crisis level should be decently high because it's a bizarre infinite dimension, an endless labyrinth that you can't escape from no matter how hard you try. Most people probably aren't even lucky enough to find other living humans once they get trapped inside--that's how infinite it is. The only reason I didn't rank this one 10/10 was because, although it's a home furnishing labyrinthine nightmare, it's at least contained to the inside of the store.
3. SCP-2030: 1,000 Ways to Die But Also Punk'd
Object Class: Keter What It Does: It's a prank show. Except everyone featured on it dies the same year they appear in the episode. The pranks are all bizarre and often pretty gruesome, but weirdly enough, the revelation that it's a prank show seems to calm all participants down no matter how fucked up the situation. Why It Gets Its Classification: It's possible to find episodes, but the article notes that the show's actual origin has yet to be found and contained. It's also not known if the show directly causes the people who appear on it to die the same year they're featured or if they were meant to die anyway and that's why they were featured. So how deadly this SCP actually is isn't really known. Article Rating: 9.5/10 Existential Crisis Level: 6.5/10 Painful Death? Kind of? Everyone involved in each "episode" of the show seems to really enjoy it once the "prank" is revealed, so I guess whether the deaths are painful or not is up for debate. Personally, if my significant other walked in completely skinned alive, I would not take it very well. That's just one of the many examples given in the article of recorded SCP-2030 appearances. I really, really recommend reading through all of them because they're delightfully morbid and probably one of my favorite addendums out of the SCPs I've come across so far. I also recommend watching The Volgun's video on it for added effect. This will sound messed up, but growing up I loved watching 1,000 Ways to Die, a show that featured reenactments of unusual deaths that have occurred in recent history. I'm willing to bet that's where my love for all things morbid came from, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that a TV show SCP that's a bizarre mix of 1,000 Ways to Die and Ashton Kutcher's prank show Punk'd would end up in my top three scary SCPs list. The SCP Foundation of course has plenty of mysteries, but in addition to being wonderfully morbid, SCP-2030 is also one of my favorite mysteries. Who is the host (SCP-2030-1)? Why does everyone immediately relax when he reveals himself even though they've just watched a grisly death? Why do they die the same year they appear on the show? Who films these episodes, and why? SO MANY QUESTIONS! I put the crisis level relatively low because this one might make you question what's real and what's not (particularly in terms of death/fate), but it's restricted to the people it features on each episode, so it's not exactly a, "Holy shit, the universe is fake, everyone is going to die, life is meaningless," kind of SCP. Still, it's a freaking delight.
2. SCP-507: The (Reluctant) Reality Hopper
Object Class: Safe What It Does: He's just a normal dude dealt a really bad hand. He uncontrollably hops dimensions. Some dimensions he hops to are fairly tame and sometimes even pleasant, but they're usually confusing, fucked up, or both. Why It Gets Its Classification: He's pretty cooperative and although he sometimes needs to be retrieved when he returns from hopping to another dimension, the Foundation doesn't have any issues keeping him contained otherwise. And he doesn't really need to be contained anyway. Article Rating: 10/10 Existential Crisis Level: 8/10 Painful Death? No, but poor guy! Usually SCPs scare the shit out of me, but this one just made me really sad. The poor guy is just trying to live his life, yet he can't control the fact that he randomly transports to other dimensions with absolutely no say in where he goes or how long he stays. Every instance of him transporting is recorded along with a request that he makes after he returns, and the one that really got to me was when all he asked for was a hug. Although the SCP Foundation exists to protect the world from dangerous anomalies, they can also be pretty cold and calculating, so I was pretty happy to see that they approved that particular request. This is another article where the addendums are just amazing. I recommend reading through all of the examples here if you've ever got some time to kill. And as I'm writing this, we're all under quarantine, so I'm sure lots of us have plenty of time to kill. The creativity with all of the different creatures in different worlds that SCP-507 encounters is astonishing. And what I feel makes this SCP unique is that he's probably one of the most chill SCPs, and the danger doesn't really come from him but from the implications of these other dimensions that he accidentally travels to. I put the crisis rating pretty high for this because SCP-507 is just a normal dude who for some reason is cursed to hop dimensions. That could happen to anyone. Also, there are multiple dimensions and most of them seem pretty fucked up.
1. SCP-2935: The Cave
Object Class: Keter What It Does: It's a cave that leads to another dimension where, similar to SCP-201, all life suddenly ended with no explanation. The difference here is that the corpses remain instead of everyone disappearing. Why It Gets Its Classification: The cave itself it monitored by the Foundation, but we don't know anything about whatever it is that killed everyone in the alternate dimension, and for all we know, it could come for us next. If that's not Keter, I don't know what is. Article Rating: 10/10 Existential Crisis Level: 10/10 Painful Death? It doesn't seem like the deaths are particularly painful, but everyone dies, even the SCPs that are famous for being unkillable, so I'm gonna go ahead and say "Yes" on this one. This one fucked me up. Remember the IV stand? I hope you do. SCP-2935 feels like an insanely ramped up version of that. It's a cave in Indiana that seems innocent enough (as most SCPs do, which is kind of part of the problem), until you enter it and find yourself in an alternate version of our world where we all died in perfect unison on April 20th, 2016. And it's not only living, sentient beings that died, but anything that held any semblance of life or life-like operations, including machines and anomalies. They all just ceased all activity at exactly the same time. The reason I ranked this number 1 even though it's similar in some ways to the overly familiar IV stand is because we find out that entering the cave to the alternate dimension sort of alerts whatever entity killed everyone and everything, and going back to your own dimension allows it to follow you there and do the same thing to your own world. That means that, in a way, the SCP Foundation could be dooming the entire world unintentionally throughout multiple dimensions by trying to investigate the cave and then coming back unless they're alerted beforehand the way we are in these addendums. Needless to say, I had to give this one a 10/10 crisis rating. It's so easy for our entire world to fall victim to some monstrous, unknown entity that simply investigating a cave and then coming back from it could be enough to bring a multidimensional apocalypse. And with how many SCPs there are out there, this one probably isn't even the most dangerous despite wiping out all life across possibly hundreds of different dimensions. Still, it was the first that gave me that good ol' existential dread, which is why it makes it to number one on the list.
Credit to the article creators. Go check them out if you like being scared shitless!
From the Intro:
The Flesh Plague: "SCP-610" by "NekoChris": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-610
The Child Nabber: "SCP-4666" by "Hercules Rockefeller": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-4666
The Transit Ticket: "SCP-342" by "name": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-342
The Cakes: "SCP-871" by "Seibai": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-871
The Teddy Bear (Evil Version. There's a much nicer one): "SCP-1048" by "trennerdios": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1048
From the List:
The Cannibal Chocolates: "SCP-643" by "Roget": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-643
The Crystal: "SCP-409" by "Dr Gears": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-409
"Cousin Jonny": "SCP-2852" by "kinchtheknifeblade": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2852
The Reluctant Dimension Hopper: "SCP-507" by "PennywiseTheClown": http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-507
What did you think? Do you have a favorite SCP? Anything you feel I missed? Any rankings you would change? Leave a comment!