Fear-Inducing Art

Item#: SCP-4002
Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures:

Unique instances of SCP-4002 are to be stored in a standard cognitohazardous materials locker at Site-23. All non-unique instances are to be incinerated unless requested by the inhabitants of the appropriate Exclusion Zone. All instances are to have digital reproductions, imaged by D-Class personnel.

Mobile Task Force Chi-9 (“Starving Artists”) are to contain any uncontained SCP-4002 instances, or dispose of them if containment is impractical. Mobile Task Force Sigma-2 (“Crab Cakes”) are to monitor suspected areas for signs of SCP-4002 activity. Any persons showing unusual interests in art, particularly street art or graffiti, are to be investigated immediately for signs of infection. All professional artists showing a lack of variation in their work are to be investigated as well.

All persons affected by SCP-4002 are to be placed within the appropriate Exclusion Zone for the remainder of their lives, or until a countermeasure is discovered.

Staff at Site-23 are forbidden from creating any form of visual art, regardless of the level of abstraction. Any persons observed doing so will be placed in solitary confinement to be tested for SCP-4002 infection.

All Foundation personnel who believe themselves to be affected are to immediately report their suspicions and submit to testing. Affected staff are to be relocated to the Exclusion Zone at Site-23, where they will continue their work in safety.

All newly-discovered European caves are to have their walls completely cleansed of any paintings or other artwork, as in the Bruniquel Cave.


SCP-4002 refers to a series of cognitohazardous art pieces. The exact number of SCP-4002 instances is unknown, as the 1,231 instances contained within Site-23 are estimated to make up between 5% and 7% of all instances in the world.

When exposed to an SCP-4002 instance, or a non-digital reproduction of one, a human will instantaneously and permanently become affected by its anomalous properties. Only one instance can affect a given subject. At this point, the affected individual is said to be at Stage One of infection. Stage One manifests itself as an unconscious compulsion to reproduce the instance, especially in places others are likely to see it. While most people's lives are affected very little, professional artists find themselves incapable of creating anything aside from SCP-4002 instances.

In 0.6% of cases, affected individuals are compelled to create an SCP-4002 instance unrelated to the one that affected them. This has led researchers to believe that all present instances derive from a single instance.

The first effect does not make itself apparent until the infected individual sees the object of their latent fear. This immediately triggers a powerful “fight or flight” response, leading the victim to violently attack or flee. In either case, the infected subject shows no regard whatsoever for their own health and safety.

Once the fight-or-flight response is triggered, the subject's brain is permanently altered. All desires and goals are replaced with the destruction of, or flight from, the offending object, even if said object is completely removed from an infected subject's presence. Subjects will ignore all other activities, including biological functions, and are thereafter incapable of supporting themselves. All subjects in this state are to be terminated through a fatal dose of painkilling medicine.