Like most people I let my imagination run wild when I first heard about the Dark Web – the seedier side of the Internet only accessible with a special browser like TOR.
A simple search on YouTube will uncover creepypastas, “true” stories of people venturing into the unknown, and mystery boxes purchased on the Dark Web. You’ll hear stories of people buying narcotics, hiring hit-men, and things only meant for the most depraved – Red Rooms and more. We built a monster out it. But are surprised by this outcome? After all, it was Lovecraft who said, The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” And what is more unknown than that which lurks behind the screen?
Curiosity – as it usually does – got the better of me. Before long I was searching through online forums in order to gain access to the Hidden Wiki – an online index of some of the more popular onion sites. As the page loaded, I didn’t know what I expected. My paranoia got the better of me. I taped the lens of my laptop’s webcam before entering.
When its secrets were presented before me, it was anticlimactic to say the least. Sure the links to hit-men existed. And yes, there were sites in which you could purchase drugs – at this time, the Silk Road was still operational. Links that sent you to cannibal cookbooks and one detailing human experimenting. Marketplaces for stolen credit cards and identities. And several links leading you straight to scams. Because on the Dark Web, it’s hard to trace a conman looking for his mark – the unsuspecting noob looking for a cheap (rather expensive, actually) thrill.
I didn’t, however, find links to any red rooms, a virtual urban legend where you can watch – even participate in – a person’s torture and eventual death at the hands of a sadistic executioner. Using bitcoin, you can have a man’s eyelids sliced off and salt poured on his face as he screams in agony.
While red rooms are stuff of urban legend, in Jessica Frey’s world they have become her escape. One in particular, however: The Silent Red Room Show. From a distance, Jessica began to admire Father Paul. He filled her fantasies, the man – the butcher – behind the mask. What she wouldn’t give to be part of that world. A world where you can put those who have tormented you on the hot seat. Strap them in and watch the master fillet them to an inch of their lives for the entertainment of strangers online. But this isn’t the only dark secret Jessica Frey carries with her. There are much darkness inside her and all she needs is a mentor like Father Paul to help her set it free.
Dale Tilson, on the other hand, is looking for a new beginning. Taking the advice of his younger sister, Diane, he’s making an attempt on a second chance. Using a dating app, he meets Marla at her place. But after a drink of wine, things begin to feel wrong for Dale. And only gets worse when Marla attacks him.
And so the story begins, a three-part saga written by K. T. Rose. A story where Dale Tilson and Jessica Frey are fated to encounter Father Paul and his Silent Red Room cult. The trilogy keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while sprinkling a few silly name brand products and restaurant names.
On the other spectrum of the Dark Web, sits Moritz Zimmermann whose girlfriend, Lisa Novak, has returned from her trip abroad a completely different person. She’s hanging out with Daniel Riffert, the high school ecstasy dealer. In a brash attempt to win Lisa back, Mortiz buys – and blackmails – Daniel’s ecstasy supplier. When things go sideways, he’s only left with one thing to do – sell the drugs online. Fast.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. With a new found purpose in life, Moritz and company are thrown
The only thing that got me on my nerves is the dubbing. Because the original series was German, the English voices and sync can be off putting. This is, of course, a superficial issue which I can ignore easily – sometimes.
While the Dark Web is shrouded in a created mystery, we can all agree that the best fruit it bears are the stories that come out of it. Until next time, keep on huntin’.