A SEVERED DOLL’S HEAD EERILY GREETS YOU on the first page.
The black backdrop of the Home Page is striking in its simplicity. Only two words, in bright bloody red, punch your consciousness like a bony poke in the eye: “to die”!!! A bead of sweat forms upon your brow as you read the horrifying challenge, apparently, mystically, horrifically uttered somehow, by that…that…decapitated noggin. You stifle a scream as you read the sentence that will unquestionably cause you to click the next step: “learn your fate…find out if you’re…you’re going to die.” Somewhere off in the distance, a dog barks. A woman screams in your mind.
You have now entered into the chilling world of DeathBeth.com.
In less than a week Halloween will be upon us. I personally don’t celebrate it, preferring instead to honor a more significant, historic event (which I’ll write about next week). Still, like all of you, every now and then I like a good scare.
Back when I was nine-years-old, I read about the old black and white zombie film “Night of the Living Dead” in my grandma’s copy of Reader’s Digest.
The article lamented how this terrifying movie, which graphically depicted the undead gorging on flesh and entrails, could be rated “G” for every kid to see. (This was in 1968.) I hungered to watch the blood and guts of George A. Romero’s grisly classic, but, alas, there were no DVDs back then.
And, I was way, way too young anyway.
I came of age and watched everything that featured sawed off body parts: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St., The Hills are Alive, Reanimator, and, of course, all the sequels to that original, gory zombie flick: “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead.” But no more. Oh, every now and then I’ll venture out to see something tamer, like “World War Z” or “I Am Legend,” but for the most part, my bloodlust has subsided, except for the occasional deer I’ll run over on the highway.
This site, though bloodless and gore-free, was still unbelievable, awful and grotesque. Not only does this bodiless Barbie issue a death challenge, but she—it?—actually predicts what will happen when you leave behind this mortal coil. The text beckons: “To ask Death Beth, choose how you think you will die.” There’s a menu of mortality for you to then choose your death wish that includes “Accident,” “Disaster,” “Disease,” or “Homicide.”
I should have exited right there, logged off and thrown my computer away. I should have watched reruns of “The Addams Family” or, perhaps, even cracked open a good book, like a Jane Austen novel or something.
Maybe even the Bible. But, but, no!
DeathBeth.com got the best of me.
I clicked on “Accident.” What I read next was so strangely true, I could not deny it and had to believe. There was no way out now, I just had to see how it would all play out….