Object Class: Safe
Containment: SCP-XXXX is to remain in a locked box in a secure storage room. A monthly check of containment should be made to ensure that SCP-XXXX is still contained.
Testing may be performed at the approval of Dr ██████. Test subjects are not to know the location of SCP-XXXX's containment. Those contaminated by SCP-XXXX may attempt to gain access to it; non-lethal methods may be used to prevent access.
Description: SCP-XXXX is a shallow bowl of simple construction with a diameter of 25.4 cm (10 inches) and a height of 10.16 cm (4 inches). It appears to be composed of normal fired clay, confirmed by tests on small samples chipped off the bottom. SCP-XXXX is covered with a simple clear glaze; the interior of the bowl has been painted a flat black, while the exterior remains unpainted. A sequence of characters are painted immediately inside the rim of the bowl. The name "John Dee" is scratched into the clay on the underside of the bowl.
Despite the name inscribed on the underside, the true origin of SCP-XXXX is unknown. The characters surrounding the rim have been identified as Enochian script, typically attributed to the occultist John Dee. These characters, represented in the Latin alphabet as [REDACTED], do not translate to any known language. Ceramic dating methods have placed the creation of SCP-XXXX at between 1590 and 1630 AD, approximately contemporary to Dee, but no records indicate that an object of this description was ever in his possession.
SCP-XXXX appears to be designed for the purposes of fortune-telling by observation of reflections in water, similar to the use of a crystal ball or similar implement. However, when used as a common "scrying bowl", SCP-XXXX causes anomalous mental effects in the user.
Upon filling the bowl with water and viewing the surface for a sufficient period of time (five to twenty minutes in most cases), the subject will begin to observe vague humanoid shapes in the reflections on the water. The subject will also experience whispered voices speaking to him/her. These voices are audible only to the subject; neither the shapes in the bowl nor the voices have ever been successfully observed or recorded by another party.
Subjects have reported the voices as sounding "kind", "helpful", "beautiful", and "pure". The voices will speak a short message in obtuse language, typically involving metaphors, double meanings, kennings, Latin phrases, allusions, or simple rhymes. Subjects believe these utterances are both true and of great importance. Those who have used the object report that they have received communications from helpful "beings" (variously described as spirits, aliens, or angels) and show an increasing desire to repeatedly view SCP-XXXX. Subjects who have frequently used SCP-XXXX may develop an obsessive desire to "decode" the messages, to the point of neglecting personal hygeine and health; after approximate a month with no exposure to SCP-XXXX, this behavior diminishes and the subject returns to normal.
A number of the messages transcribed by the subjects have been matched to real events following the transmission of the messages; in each case the "decoding" of the message has been by the recipient. These have all been of low importance and of a personal nature; see test transcripts below for examples. The vast majority of messages, however, have not been linked to any object or event in reality. Linguists, experts in literature, and psychologists continue to study these messages but have not successfully parsed any at this time. Those messages which have been decoded have all exhibited significantly simpler structure than those which have not.
A number of staff psychologists have advanced the hypothesis that SCP-XXXX simply clarifies subconscious mental activity; messages containing unimportant personal information, such as the location of a lost object, come from "forgotten knowledge" on the part of the subject, while other messages are simply a form of glossolalia. This hypothesis has been neither proven nor disproven.
This object was discovered in 20██ by a Foundation agent monitoring the popular Internet forum [REDACTED]. The detailed description by the owner (a 22-year-old male living in [REDACTED]) and the increasingly obsessive nature of his posts led the agent to investigate. SCP-XXXX was recovered and amnesiacs were administered to the owner. Using the owner's forum account, the agent claimed to have been perpetrating a hoax on the forum community and that no such object had existed.
Tests were carried out in a plain room containing a table, a chair, and a single candle for illumination of the water. SCP-XXXX was filled to approximately 3/4 with distilled water. Subjects were instructed to watch the surface of the water; the candle was lit near SCP-XXXX and all other lights were extinguished.
Subject: D-34872. Female, age 34.
Result: Subject reported seeing "ghosts" in the water after approximately 7 minutes of observation. Shortly thereafter, the subject repeated the words, [REDACTED]. Subject was unable to determine the meaning of these words and no explanation has since been discovered.
Result: Subject reported that effects of SCP-XXXX began at approximately 4.5 minutes into the test, indicating that repeated use may accelerate the time of onset. Subject reported hearing the phrase, "The working man treads on the President's head". Subject later discovered her "lucky penny" under a discarded work boot in the D-class barracks.
Result: Subject experienced onset of effects at approximately 4 minutes. Subject repeated the words, [REDACTED]. The subject expressed desire to continue viewing SCP-XXXX and required significant persuasion to leave the test chamber. Despite the ominous nature of the message, researchers have been unable to identify its meaning.
Subject: D-1187. Male, age 24. Note: Subject is blind.
Result: Subject was instructed to face SCP-XXXX and report any sensations. Despite inability to see the surface of the bowl, subject reported hearing [REDACTED]. No explanation for this message has yet been found.
Note: SCP-XXXX appears to require only a close proximity and prolonged concentration to function, rather than actual observation of the object.
Subject: D-94550. Male, age 41. Note: Subject is mentally sub-normal and communicates only through a small subset of English words supplemented by gestures.
Result: Subject was instructed to "look water". Once instructions were made clear, subject viewed SCP-XXXX for 20 minutes before becoming bored and demanding to leave. Did not report seeing anything except water.