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Nov 03 2013

Welp, yeah, that convinced me

Those ghosthunter shows are all looking for evidence of an afterlife and of spirits hanging about to communicate with us, and finally a group of ghosthunters in Oklahoma have found it. They’ve been exploring a decrepit basement in an abandoned urban building — you know, the kind of place where teenagers might hang out and drink and get into mischief — and they left up a chalkboard, and when they weren’t around, messages appeared on it. Deep, cryptic, strange messages, so they must be from ghosties.

The lanky cowboy with the slow drawl is totally mystified by the paranormal message with its deep historical resonance scrawled on the board.

“THE CAKE IS A LIE.”

So profound. So inexplicable and enigmatic. I wonder what it means? Perhaps one of you will have insight into this perplexing arcane sign from another world.

81 comments

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  1. 1
    tuibguy

    It’s not chocolate. It’s carob. This the ghost of my allergies.

  2. 2
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    I’m sure it’s genuine and couldn’t possibly be an internet meme:

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-cake-is-a-lie

  3. 3
    AussieMike

    Ghosts don’t like gluten free cakes either? Who knew?

  4. 4
    gregranzoni

    Hmmm, is this from the electronic/videogame section from the Onion?

  5. 5
    Acolyte of Sagan

    It’s Marie Antoinette’s ghost confirming she never said “let them eat cake”. She didn’t mean to go to Oklahoma but she has no head for directions.

  6. 6
    mykroft

    Hmmm, deep indeed. Empty calories, empty promises. Sweet, yet unhealthy. Smooth, creamy…

    Hand me a fork, will you?

  7. 7
    Sili

    Well, that was a triumph.

  8. 8
    marcoli

    I’m making a note here: Huge Success. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

  9. 9
    blf

    The mildly deranged penguin points out it was a cheesecake, and therefore is not a cake.
    Ergo, it’s a lie.
    Q.E.D.

    Corollary: Genocide-by-chocolate is an honorary cheesecake.
    (Proof left to the survivors.)

  10. 10
    georgewiman

    Stunning news that disembodied spirits enjoy modern forms of entertainment…

    The shadow on the wall is what got me. OMG! The spider that probably crawled across the infrared emitter, casting a momentary shadow on the wall, must have been a ghost spider!

    I mean, spiders are scary enough. But a ghost spider?

  11. 11
    infraredeyes

    Then again, maybe they left the cake out in the rain.

  12. 12
    blf

    Oh, this is much more hilarious than I originally thought. I had assumed “The Cake is a Lie” is just a nonsense scrawl, but it turns out it is a common catchphrase from a video game called Portal, and “[r]oughly translates to ‘your promised reward is merely a fictitious motivator’” — quite apt in this case…

  13. 13
    don1

    Could be a Jaffa cake trying to avoid VAT.

  14. 14
    schism

    Okay, obviously this isn’t a message from ghosts. It’s from aliens. From spaaaaaaaaaaace.

  15. 15
    busterggi

    The ghost of Colin Powell’s testimony at the UN.

  16. 16
    penumbra

    @blf #12 exactly! As a gamer, I recognized that phrase immediately. lol

  17. 17
    Zeno

    Hmm. The same thing happens with the chalkboard in my classroom. All the time.

  18. 18
    anthrosciguy

    I’m a non-gamer and I recognized the phrase; that shows how commonly it’s been posted online.

  19. 19
    Al Dente

    I wonder what it means? Perhaps one of you will have insight into this perplexing arcane sign from another world.

    Maybe you’ll find someone else to help you. Maybe Black Mesa.

  20. 20
    carlie

    Well, that was a triumph.

    Note: huge success.

  21. 21
    everbleed

    “2 News Works for you!”

    You. Yeah you. We got a slogan. You are an idiot. We give you what you want. Idiocy.

    It works. We have verifiable ‘scientific’ proof. The marketing department guy got his regular paycheck on Friday.

    We’re still here, but you’re lurking in a basement. Eating cake.

    Great Halloween story.

  22. 22
    travisrm89

    Maybe you’ll find someone else to help you. Maybe Black Mesa.

    Ha ha. Fat chance.

  23. 23
    doublereed

    Note: Mysterious, cryptic signs should first and foremost be googled.

  24. 24
    geroche

    I’m not ready to be as dismissive of this as PZ, whether or not it also happens to have been mentioned in some video game. That could be a coincidence, but still doesn’t explain how the message got there. They even had the blackboard checked out by Dr G Freeman, a well respected theoretical physicist. He was speechless. At the very least, I think it warrants more investigation. He should take it apart with a crowbar and analyze the pieces.

  25. 25
    geroche

    For science.

  26. 26
    marcoli

    For those of you not familiar with the video game known as Portal: it is about a research subject (you) who is forced to perform a series of puzzles of increasing difficulty. The puzzles are solved by using a special gun that plants paired worm holes into walls, floors, and ceilings. You can step or fall through one worm hole portal, coming out through the other portal with conserved velocity. This means you get your character to fly over barriers, up onto ledges, etc. The computer making you do this is insane, and she has killed the research staff running this installation. ‘She’ promises you cake upon completion. The cake is a lie. She actually plans to kill you at the end.
    Portal is a brilliant game, and it has won awards for its cleverness. It has puzzles that make you think, a strong plot, and it is filled with dark humor. I highly recommend it. At the very least I am sure there are lots of videos about it that you can watch on You Tube.

  27. 27
    ck

    geroche wrote:

    For science.

    You monster.

  28. 28
    Nathaniel Frein

    From spaaaaaaaaaaace.

    Hey…hey…hey…hey lady…

    Hey…

    Wanna go to space…

  29. 29
    muskiet

    “The Cake Is a Lie!”
    That’s from “Portal” you idiots!

  30. 30
    carlie

    Hey, there’s cake here! It’s so delicious, and moist!

  31. 31
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    You ghost hunters are getting all hot and bothered about this chalk note possibly being paranormal, but you are overlooking the actual message. All the cake is gone. You don’t even care, do you?

  32. 32
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    The points of data make a beautiful line.

  33. 33
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    That’s from “Portal” you idiots!

    We’re being facetious about our ignorance, you monster.

  34. 34
    Duth Olec

    This isn’t proof of ghosts. It’s proof of robots.

  35. 35
    scottdrager

    GASP! It’s like they found a pathway to the other side! A portal if you will….

  36. 36
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    muskiet,
    Perhaps before reading the thread, you accidentally stepped onto an Aerial Faith Plate, which made you soar through the sky to air like an eagle… piloting a blimp, to the “submit comment” button.

    Well, I’m off to the Enrichment Center*, for my morning cup.

    *My kitchen

  37. 37
    penumbra

    @Woo_Monster #36 . . . “enrichment center” = kitchen. ha! Me too, I’ll shuffle off humming along with the Portal theme song ear worm I got from this thread. Argh!

  38. 38
    Bronze Dog

    For those of you not familiar with the video game known as Portal: it is about a research subject (you) who is forced to perform a series of puzzles of increasing difficulty. The puzzles are solved by using a special gun that plants paired worm holes into walls, floors, and ceilings. You can step or fall through one worm hole portal, coming out through the other portal with conserved velocity. This means you get your character to fly over barriers, up onto ledges, etc. The computer making you do this is insane, and she has killed the research staff running this installation. ‘She’ promises you cake upon completion. The cake is a lie. She actually plans to kill you at the end.
    Portal is a brilliant game, and it has won awards for its cleverness. It has puzzles that make you think, a strong plot, and it is filled with dark humor. I highly recommend it. At the very least I am sure there are lots of videos about it that you can watch on You Tube.

    I second marcoli’s recommendation and add that Portal 2 is also wonderful. I absolutely love the humor, in particular the naming conventions. For example, Portal 2′s Aperture Science Edgeless Safety Cube. It’s a sphere.

    Anyway, this cake is great. So delicious and moist.

  39. 39
    Nemo

    Well, there’s no sense crying over every mistake.

  40. 40
    quidam

    At 2:51 he explains the meaning of the message “Which historically, Jim says, means the promised reward never happened”

    That’s as good a definition of the meme as any other.

    So he’s not “totally mystified” at all, he understands it perfectly well. He just doesn’t explain that it’s recent history or why long-dead bare knuckle fighters would be aware of 2007 computer game. Plausible gullibility is his stock in trade.

  41. 41
    ck

    They say the old caretaker of this place went absolutely crazy. Chopped up his entire staff. Of robots. All of them robots. They say at night you can still hear the screams. Of their replicas. All of them functionally indistinguishable from the originals. No memory of the incident. Nobody knows what they’re screaming about. Absolutely terrifying. Though obviously not paranormal in any meaningful way.

  42. 42
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    As soon as I heard it, some five years or more ago, I asked my family to play the end theme from Portal at my funeral. Preferably from a hidden speaker in my coffin. =^_^=

    Today the cake isn’t a lie. It really is delicious and moist. Both cakes, I should say. My daughter makes the best birthday cakes and she made my grandson’s favourite and mine (carrot and pavlova, respectively). Just because we share a birthday doesn’t mean we only get one cake between us!

  43. 43
    IslandBrewer

    Well, apparently, this calls for MORE TESTING!

  44. 44
    pacal

    Someone is putting over a joke on these fools. “The cake is a lie”, indeed. Only cryptic to those who do no research.

  45. 45
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @pacal – enlighten me? i don’t know the reference

  46. 46
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @pacal, never mind.

    Note to CD: read the damned thread!

  47. 47
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Happy birthday, Tigger_the_Wing, to you and your grandson!

  48. 48
    Moggie

    Clearly this is of paranormal origin. No living human would have used a meme from 2007; they’re obviously being trolled from beyond the grave. Look at me still talking when there’s science to do.

  49. 49
    otrame

    Here my favorite youtube of the song.

  50. 50
    Forbidden Snowflake

    This isn’t proof of ghosts. It’s proof of robots.

    Well, a real solid proof of robots would be “She died and we did nothing”. With the added bonus of making a few ghostbusters crawl right out of their skins.

  51. 51
    Rey Fox

    I suppose they’ll soon be pondering what poor soul in the distant or not-so-distant past took an arrow to the knee.

  52. 52
    Emptyell

    The ghost is Glados. We are all being tested.

  53. 53
    atterdag

    Give this music video a try:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY8iPJwztys

    It is done in the portal song style, and was put together by godless wonder.

  54. 54
    robro

    Ce n’est pas un gâteau.

  55. 55
    ck

    @Rey Fox
    Either that, or “All your base are belong to us”.

  56. 56
    Juliana Ewing

    As Georgette Heyer would say, they made cakes of themselves.

  57. 57
    playonwords

    But Mrs Cake does not lie – it messes up the precognition and then she gets a dreadful headache

  58. 58
    Holms

    Of course they overlook the most glaringly obvious explanation for why a person might vacate that cellar in a hurry: It’s fucking dismal.

    It’s that simple.

  59. 59
    WhiteHatLurker

    As people have noted, the cowboy does know what the line’s meaning is. He just interprets it as “the afterlife sucks”.

    related, somewhat

  60. 60
    procyon

    This is final and convincing proof that not only do ghosts exist, but that they play video games as well. I knew it all along.

  61. 61
    Stephen

    All your chalkboards are belong to us

  62. 62
    gillt

    “Nobody knows what it means, but t’s provocative. It gets people going!” — Chazz Michael Michaels.

  63. 63
    Travis

    I would feel so wonderful if I found out some of my chalk scrawlings fooled some ghost hunters. I need to think about how to create some good ghost photos and post them on a few ghost hunting forums to see what they think. I tried doing this one night by simply taking a long exposure photo and stepping into frame for only a few seconds, leaving a ghostly image of myself next to an old heritage building. I posted it to 4chan’s paranormal board but sadly they quickly declared it a fake, but as they were paranormal believers they declared it fake for the wrong reasons, indicating to me that they could tell it was definitely a photoshop, even though it was done in camera and the file was not post processed at all.

  64. 64
    Lithified Detritus

    They’ve been exploring a decrepit basement in an abandoned urban building — you know, the kind of place where teenagers might hang out and drink and get into mischief

    I’ve actually been to Sepulpa, OK. “Urban” is not a term I would apply, but otherwise I won’t take issue with the statement.

    I got off the highway there by mistake, and decided that since it was lunchtime, I would see what I could find. Passed a BBQ place with not a single car in the parking lot – just pickup trucks. Figuring that this was the real deal, I pulled in, adding my truck to the throng. I was right – the waitress sat down opposite me in the booth to take my order, called me “Hon,” and my lunch was served on butcher paper. It was awesome.

  65. 65
    ck

    Maybe next time someone can really mess with them and draw Nyan Cat on the blackboard.

  66. 66
    chrisv

    Is that the same cake that someone left out in the rain?

  67. 67
    smike

    The CAKE IS A LIE message is admittedly strange, but I heard that it was created by Somebody after a particular late night of ‘spiritual intoxication’. I think it had something to do with spaghetti.

    Anyway, there it is. You can see for yourself. Written on the board.

    THE CAKE IS A LIE.

    So, obviously, ghosts.

    Mysterious ways, indeed.

  68. 68
    Jafafa Hots

    We should DEFINITELY investigate ghosts.
    Think of all the things we’ll learn for the people who are still alive.

  69. 69
    =8)-DX

    Portal is a brilliant game, and it has won awards for its cleverness. It has puzzles that make you think, a strong plot, and it is filled with dark humor. I highly recommend it.

    Seconded (or thirded)! To all non-gamers on the comments: the original Portal should be free to download, playable on older PCs and it’s a fun game for the whole family – my daughter learnt mouse-keyboard coordination on it. And you can complete it in a couple of hours – the puzzles are really simple (if your mouse-keyboard coordination is no problem) – the story is a bundle of cynical laughs.

    Anyone who likes to shout “For science!” should play Portal. And love Companion Cube.

  70. 70
    gussnarp

    Fourthed! I’m rather surprised to find people here who don’t know the significance of the phrase. As a non-gamer, I highly recommend Portal. It’s a lot of fun, very original, requires you to use your brain in new and interesting ways, and, while some violence is likely to be done to your character, does not require you to do any violence to anyone else (that is, unless you want to get into questions of machine sentience) and is pretty lacking in gore.

    As for the ghost hunters: are they really that credulous, or are they pulling one over on the news crew? Either the guy in the cowboy hat is so lacking in curiosity about the subject he’s supposedly devoting his life to that he didn’t bother to Google the phrase, he’s a complete luddite, or he wrote the message himself and this whole thing is a prank (and I’ll point out that the guy in the cowboy hat says the main ghost’s name is cowboy.

  71. 71
    blf

    Incidentally, for the Linux users out there, official support on Linux for Portal has very recently (late June-2013) been announced. I haven’t tried it yet myself — I’m very busy with a much more urgent “project” (so yes, I am procrastinating by typing this comment!) — but have taken note of the above recommendations and will, eventually, perhaps give it a try…

  72. 72
    Ing

    Cave Johsnon again, we’re done here

  73. 73
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    These ghost hunter programs all take seriously some bizarre claims, pretend to investigate, fail to highlight any reasonable evidence against the hypothesis (instead drama is heightened and objectivity/investigatory integrity pretended with statements like, “JJ doesn’t believe it’s a ghost, but others disagree…”), and conclude “This really could be true!” without noting that you might as well be in exactly the same place you started.

    Can’t the viewers see that they are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike?

  74. 74
    myeck waters

    Not if they don’t have the lantern.

  75. 75
    penumbra

    @Atterdag #53

    Give this music video a try:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY8iPJwztys>

    How apropos, a parody; “Still a Lie”, featuring Ken Ham as Pinocchio. Catchy tune. . .

  76. 76
    zmidponk

    What really got me in stitches was not the cake message, but the other one, where they wrote, ‘What is your name?’, came back SIX MONTHS later, and somebody had written ‘Mattie’, and none of them had written it, so, obviously, it must have been a ghost. I guess that means the average public toilet must be a real hotbed of paranormal activity, going by all the mysterious messages that appear on the walls.

  77. 77
    John Horstman

    Say, whatever happened to Half-life 2: Episode Three? I always wanted to find our what really happened with the Philadelphia Experiment. Granted TF2 was totally worth the wait, but this is bordering on ridiculous at this point. Does Valve remember it’s supposed to be a developer as well as a publisher? Does someone need to crush Gabe Newell’s dream of making the next killer console before we can get back to playing fun games?

  78. 78
    bushrat

    If they had of bothered playing to the end of the game and watched the credits they would have realized the cake was not a lie…damn ghosts. But maybe one day, with had work and the love of a good companion cube, they will get their cake too.

  79. 79
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Here are the credits to Portal, with lyrics.

  80. 80
    myeck waters

    Markita Lynda, your link appears to not be a link.

  81. 81

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