To protect my privacy, I have kept my name anonymous. I'm not sure how to begin my story, but I'll do the best I can.
I guess I'll start by informing you about the Blue's Clues show.
For those of you who have never watched it, Blue's Clues is a show for young children that was created in 1996, and lasted for ten years with a total of 6 seasons and 142 episodes.
The show involves Steve or Joe looking for clues and solving mysteries with help from the audience. Blue was an animated dog that labeled the clues with her paw prints.
Blue's Clues was a hit with many little kids, including me. The idea was original, and the artwork was amazing. However, Steve Burns was the backbone of the show.
Steve Burns was the actor who played Steve. He was more serious than Barney the Dinosaur, but he loved kids and knew exactly how to make them happy. There was just something magical about his enthusiasm that made me want to watch more and more of his episodes.
The saddest part of my childhood was when Steve left the show in 2002 to pursue a musical career. Steve was replaced by Donovan Patton, who was the actor for Joe, but it wasn't the same.
I stopped watching Blue's Clues after Steve left. It just lost its magic. Joe was nothing like Steve. He was a total goofball, and my mother told me that Donovan Patton was "acting too hard."
When I turned 16, my family moved to a large three-story house in New York that was previously owned by a nice old lady.
A few weeks after moving in, I decided to do some exploring in the attic. I found an old trunk. To my surprise, it was filled with a bunch of old VHS tapes. All of them were Blue's Clues tapes.
I knew the old lady's cell phone number, so I decided to call her and ask her about the tapes. She told me that she bought them from a collector a few years back for her little grandson to watch.
After I thanked her and hung up, I emptied the trunk and checked the tapes. All of them had episodes that I had already watched, except for one.
The one tape I found just had a regular sticker, not a factory sticker like the other tapes had. The title on the sticker was: Blue's Clues: Sorrow. I thought the title was a little strange, but I figured it was just a copy of the Steve Goes to College episode, the one where Steve goes off to college and Joe takes his place. Because Steve said goodbye to all of his friends in that episode, I considered it to be very sorrowful indeed.
When my parents went on their anniversary trip and left me in charge of the house one night, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to check out the tape.
Our TV has a VCR, and I have to admit, I felt a tingle of excitement when I placed the tape in the player. I was about to relive my childhood memories of watching Blue's Clues. I didn't care that I was too old to watch it. I knew for sure that I would enjoy it.
At least, that's what I thought.
The episode started off completely normal. The Blue's Clues book opened up, and Steve looked out the window of his little yellow house.
"Hi out there! It's me, Steve! Have you seen Blue..........wait..........she's not here..........Well, come on in!"
The front door opened, and Steve was in the living room, looking concerned.
"I need to tell you something important. Blue is at the pet hospital, and she's having an operation on her heart..........I..........hope she's okay.........."
Steve stopped talking and looked down at the floor. The scene ended.
The next scene showed Steve at the pet hospital. He sat in the waiting room without making a sound. He did nothing else but stare at the doors that led to the operating rooms. A surgeon opened a door, but she wasn't an animation, she was a real person. She whispered in Steve's ear, but I could hear everything she said.
"Her heart stopped beating. We tried our best, but we couldn't get it to beat again. I'm sorry."
The scene ended.
The next scene started with a title card saying that a month had passed after Blue's funeral.
A deep voice spoke: "There are 5 steps in the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance," the voice said. "Steve will experience 3 stages all at once: depression, anger, and mental illness."
Steve was in his bedroom, lying in his bed. He began to cry, and the color of the episode turned black and white, like a depressing old photograph. He cried so hard, his breathing grew shallow.
The scene ended.
The next scene showed Steve sitting up on his bed. He stopped crying, but his face was red, and his teeth were clenched tightly. In his hands, he had his stuffed anteater, Horace. He screamed, "BLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" at the top of his lungs. His scream sent chills down my spine. Steve ripped off Horace's head, and black ooze squirted out of the stuffed animal's neck. Steve threw Horace in a fit of rage. When the anteater landed, the ooze completely covered the floor. I fought the urge to vomit. Against my better judgement, I decided to keep watching.
Steve's body began to turn a darker and darker color by the second. After about 5 seconds, Steve turned completely black. He got up out of his bed, walked out of his bedroom, and walked into the living room. I thought he was going to sit in his Big Red Thinking Chair, but he didn't. He stood in front of the chair, and stared at the screen for a full minute. His eyes lost their pupils, and became nothing more than white dots. He started crying again, and white tears streamed down his face. Some sad piano music began to play. The music was so heartbreaking, I shed a few tears myself. A message flashed across the screen.
The scene ended.
The next scene showed Steve still standing in the living room. He was no longer crying, and his body was a completely normal color.
"I can't live without Blue," he said. "She was my best friend. She gave my life happiness and meaning. Without her, I have nothing to live for."
The kids in the background that helped Steve find the clues started to cry and whimper. They shouted: "Please don't do it Steve! We love you! We're your friends too!"
"I'm sorry," Steve said. "I'm sorry if I break your hearts for doing this, but I have no choice. Goodbye."
He held up a container. The camera zoomed in on the label, which said: POTASSIUM CYANIDE.
Steve had a calm look on his face as he swallowed the contents of the container. He instantly collapsed. He foamed at the mouth, and his body twitched and thrashed on the floor like he was being electrocuted.
He eventually stopped moving, and I knew that he was deceased.
The episode finally ended as the TV cut to static. I sat still, dazed. It took my brain a few minutes to comprehend what I had just watched. I made the decision then and there to play detective and find out where in the world this episode came from.
I looked up the name of the episode online, but came up with nothing. I knew that the company Viacom owned Blue's Clues, because their company name was shown on the factory stickers of the other VHS tapes.
After a bit of research, I wrote a letter to the Viacom headquarters. I told them about my experience, and asked them if they knew where the tape came from. Two weeks later, I got a reply in the mail:
Dear Mr. XXXXX,
Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We were quite surprised by your story about the unaired episode of Blue's Clues that you discovered. We are grateful that you contacted us concerning it. We can personally assure you that Viacom Media Networks, as well as Viacom, claims no ownership or liability whatsoever regarding the episode. However, we still feel that an explanation is in order.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide details of the tape's creation, as we do not simply know how this happened.
Back in 2002, we received a VHS tape in a package with no return address. The words, "Mr. Ted," were written on the package. Along with the tape, there was a letter from Mr. Ted stating that he was the "biggest fan" of the Blue's Clues series and asked for our approval to air his "fan-made creation" on television.
We were quite flattered that a fan would send us a fan-made episode for airing. However, when our editors viewed the episode for refinement, they were quite appalled by its nature.
A few of the staff who viewed the episode unbelievably went into shock and had to be transported to the emergency room immediately.
Due to the horrifying content, we had absolutely no plans to air this episode. We passed the tape to a private collector, but we were dismayed to discover that he had many copies made.
We ask that you please do not release the contents of the tape or this letter to the public, as we do not want to upset the viewers who love and support our shows for young children.
With warm regards,
Michael D. Fricklas
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Questions bounced around inside my head, and they still do to this day. Who is Mr. Ted? How was he able to create this demonic episode? Is he even....well....human?
Out of respect for Viacom, I'm afraid I cannot provide any footage. However, I figured releasing a single screenshot and a copy of the letter wouldn't make them too angry.
A part of my brain told me to throw away the tape and the letter, but I have kept both in my closet to remind me that what I experienced was real. I now realize that some so-called "fans" of TV shows are not as normal as you might think they are.