Riftverse & Arkham Sanitarium Canon: The Story So Far (2018 Edition)

Before we get into everything, let me start by briefly saying that, obviously, you are not required to read nor understand any of this to enjoy my videos. I am doing this for 2 reasons: 1) for those who are interested in learning more about the universe I’ve created and may be new to my channel, and 2) to set some things straight and even make some things canon, ie. “straight from the horse’s mouth”.

Have you ever read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, watched Doctor Who, Star Trek or Star Wars, heard of parallel universes or even multiverse theory? In a nutshell, I toy with the idea that multiple universes and timelines do exist, and I play around with space and time travel. This means that a character can appear, act and have a certain history in one video / timeline, and then act and appear and have a different history in another video / timeline. This allows me total creative freedom to do what I want with the characters, setting and the universe. It also helps a little, and is somewhat of an excuse, to explain why the characters may change appearance, voice or demeanor (since my facial hair always changes, I’m not the world’s best voice actor, and my memory isn’t the greatest). It also allows me to introduce new wrinkles to a character’s backstory or dabble with the idea of travelling through “rifts” or portals from one part of the universe to another, or to a different time period altogether. Remember: all of this has been improvised straight outta my head. None of this has ever been put to paper or fully scripted.

Now, on with the canon…

The Current Story (as of the date of this writing): You are a resident patient of Arkham Sanitarium located in Arkham, Massachusetts. Depending upon the timeline / universe, it is either modern-day or a post-apocalyptic period after the Thousand Year War (see below), and either you voluntarily admitted yourself to the facility during a time of stress, or you were brought there against your will, such as being kindnapped by an individual known only as “Thomas” who works for Professor Clemmons. No matter the reason for your being there, you have no desire to leave and have become quite acclimated to the environment. You enjoy the personal attention you receive from the various doctors. Most of the patients are friendly except for some of the hostiles such as the undead, head crabs, xenomorphs, etc, (although ongoing experiments continue to try and turn these creatures into docile sentient beings). There is no cost for you to stay, and all meals and entertainment are free. Any family members that you have are allowed to visit once a year. You are able to roam the grounds of the facility at your leisure, as long as it is before curfew which is usually 10PM. You can make use of the rifts that allow you to travel time and space. You have a bar-code on your wrist which identifies you, as well as one or two RFID micro chips implanted beneath your skin which allow you to be monitored and tracked at all times no matter where you go in the multiverse. Life is good!

Side Stories: 

  1. The Missing Keyboard Keys: Someone has been stealing various keyboard keys from computers in the sanitarium and from homes and offices in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts. Coincidentally, a new character called The Key Salesman has shown up and just so happens to be selling keyboard keys.
  2. The Candy Man’s Apprentice: You are training with The Candy Man in order to get a job and help deliver candy to his clients.
  3. The Plague Doctor’s Apprentice: You are training under Corvus to become a Plague Doctor at the sanitarium in order to help perform treatments since the population of the sanitarium is growing

Corvus Dunwich Clemmons & Professor William Clemmons: Once upon a time, back in the Middle Ages, there were 2 brothers: Corvus and William. Depending upon which timeline / universe we are talking about, “brothers” could either mean sons from the same mother, or they are completely unrelated but both are associated with the same “brotherhood”, “cult”, “order”, etc. In either case, Corvus ends up becoming a Plague Doctor and pursuing an apothecary’s line of work, while William goes off to pursue a doctor’s career path while dabbling in experimental surgery, becoming interested in the occult, perhaps even dark or blood magick. Time passes, and eventually both brothers learn the secret of immortality: Corvus finding the fountain of youth through a secret concoction that he must continually inject in himself in order to remain alive, while William obtains his immortality through ritual or magick. Jump to current day and they both are reunited, practicing at Arkham Sanitarium. However, Corvus has grown suspicious of his “brother” and wishes to have him killed though he has not found the courage to do so, while William has learned how to raise Cthulhu from his slumber in the sunken prison of R’lyeh and makes Cthulhu a servant who will eventually provide William with the language and means to summon the Great Ones and take over the multiverse.

William the Student: One alternate timeline suggests that modern-day William Clemmons is either a descendant (known or unknown to him and everyone else) of Medieval Ages William, a “reborn” William, or there wasn’t ever a William to begin with and the only William to ever exist is the 1920’s student who studied at Miskatonic University. In any case, William the Student ends up working at Arkham Sanitarium. He ends up falling in love with a woman named Margaret (see below) who was possibly another student during his tenure at the university. They both go on an expedition where Margaret, possibly pregnant, is killed in a tragic accident, and William ends up bringing her body back and ends up reanimating her using the forbidden knowledge he gained from his former colleague Herbert West. Eventually he ends up becoming head of Arkham Sanitarium.

William Clemmons, Director of Arkham Sanitarium: No matter the timeline, all paths lead to William becoming head of Arkham Sanitarium. Either he obtains this through force, or by working his way up the ranks. He also ends up coming in contact with the SCP Foundation, and agrees to use the sanitarium as a clandestine site for the Foundation in exchange for access to SCP sites and entities.

William Clemmons Split Personality Theory: It is possible that William suffers from a multiple personality disorder, and that many if not all of the characters such as Corvus, Dave, Margaret, The Repairman, The Candy Man, Dr. Lampert Schaede, etc., are all different personalities of William. If this is true, then what does that make the patient, ie. you the viewer? Perhaps the patient is an actual patient at the sanitarium, or is someone held against their will and lives in William’s basement, much like 10 Cloverfield lane. Perhaps William has made up all the characters and the history of the Sanitarium and has brainwashed his captive (the viewer) into believing all of it. Or, perhaps there is no captive at all, and we are merely watching found footage of William and his personalities in front of a camera.

William Clemmons is Nyarlathotep: Nyarlathotep is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s fictional other worldly creatures that often appears as a man who is obsessed with technology. You can read more about it somewhere out on the web. As far as this universe is concerned, it is known that in one or perhaps all timelines that William Clemmons is either possessed by Nyarlathotep or Nyarlathotep has taken on the form of a William Clemmons since the Middle Ages or at some point thereafter, perhaps during the expedition where Margaret died. It is also possible that the true William Clemmons exists as a patient who has lost his sanity, while Nyarlathotep poses as William in order to maintain control of the Sanitarium. I am not sure of the actual relationship between Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu as far as if they are relatives or rivals, but we can pretend in one timeline that Nyarlathotep wishes to use Cthulhu to take over the universe, or an alternate timeline could suggest that Cthulhu was never raised from his slumber.

Arkham Sanitarium: Again, depending upon the timeline, the sanitarium existed back during the Dark Ages where apparently Corvus and William both worked. It is not known if they practiced their crafts during the same time or at different years. Eventually, an unknown event occurs centuries later that causes the sanitarium to burn to the ground. It is not known if it was arson or an accident. In the 19th century, a new asylum is built in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts and was given the name of Arkham Sanitarium, or Arkham Sanitarium for Mental Rehabilitation (ASMR), in honor of the same facility from Medieval times. In all instances, Arkham Sanitarium acts as a safe haven for the broken and downtrodden, whether suffering from minor or severely debilitating physical and/or mental health issues. William Clemmons eventually becomes head of the facility, and ends up turning it into a place that experiments on the same type of individuals. But while the methods used are relaxing and beneficial to the overall physical and mental health of the patients, they are often used as guinea pigs for biological experiments, and more importantly as an energy source to be harvested during the A.S.M.R. sessions. Arkham Sanitarium burns down a second time and is rebuilt after the Thousand Year War (see below) where William maintains control and continues the experiments. I have also posited that modern and post-apocalyptic Arkham Sanitarium, perhaps depending upon the timeline/universe, also acts as a clandestine SCP Foundation facility unbeknownst to all except William. The Sanitarium grounds are also home to a hotel, amusement park, zoo, and thousands of acres of natural woods behind the facility with a peaceful trickling stream where a certain reanimated painter is often seen painting patients. There is a garden (see below) right behind the facility that is maintained by Margaret. There are also Arkham Sanitariums that exist on other planets.

The Arkham Sanitarium Method of Relaxation: This is just my way of playing with the ASMR acronym and making it fit within the Riftverse. The A.S.M.R. treatments are performed on various patients in order to harvest the energy they created (aka the “tingles”) in order to keep the facility operating, and to provide power to the rifts or portals that the Professor has created that one can use to traverse time and space. The method is actually beneficial to the mental and physical health and well being of the patients.

The Harvest: This is the name given to the act of obtaining the energy that each patient generates (i.e. the “tingles”) during an A.S.M.R. treatment session. The harvested energy is then used to either power the facility or various aspects of it, or is turned into a physical, liquid-based substance to be then used for unknown purposes. Perhaps Corvus uses some of the harvest for his secret concoction which helps keep him immortal. Perhaps the liquid harvest is injected in other life forms as part of various experiments.

The Arkham Sanitarium Residents and Patients: The residents and patients of Arkham Sanitarium can be anyone and anything from any part of the multiverse. Again, this is my way of drawing from and making reference to other works of fiction, and having fun with the sanitarium being a place where all kinds of creatures and things exist together. While the viewer is usually human in most cases / videos, it is possible that one could imagine being a different creature or even a robot. The Professor himself, perhaps with an extraction team, will travel the multiverse in search of new life forms so that he can perform biological experiments and harvest the unique energy each life form generates during the A.S.M.R. sessions. There is a ward or annex for each life form, i.e. a Human Ward, an Undead Ward, Xenomorph Ward, Dalek Ward, etc. etc.

The A.S.M.R. Treatment Rooms: Each patient is comfortably restrained, usually upright in a chair, and in an almost-soundproof room (i.e. the basement of my home). The patients are hooked up to an intricate device of the Professor’s creation that is able to draw the energy the patient generates during the session which can then be used either as a direct power source for the facility or to turn the energy into a physical, liquid-based substance used for various purposes.

Margaret Clemmons: There are a few theories as to who Margaret is.  The first is that she was once a student who attended Miskatonic University at the same time William did. They fell in love, and at one point she becomes pregnant, perhaps before they are married. They go on an expedition where she is killed, apparently in a “tragic accident”. Nothing is known as to whether the baby survived or not. William brings her body back and reanimates her using the knowledge he gained from former colleague Herbert West. Another theory is that the loss of Margaret was so hard on William that he suffered a severe mental breakdown because of it and ends up dressing up as her. The other theories are that there was never a Margaret to begin with, but it is actually one of Williams’ personalities, or she is another patient altogether.

Margaret’s Garden: Margaret Clemmons maintains a garden that exists behind the facility on Earth as well as other facilities on other planets. There is a portion of the garden that exists in a dark greenhouse. The garden is not just home to typical plants, fruits and vegetables, but some of them are sentient, perhaps containing the brain of a human or other life form. A section of the garden contains soil which holds unique healing properties. Some of the various patients and even some of the staff often schedule themselves to be buried in Margaret’s garden. And then there are those patients who break the sanitarium’s rules and as a form of punishment are buried in Margaret’s garden for hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries and millennia.

Thousand Year War on Earth: At some point in the future, Professor Clemmons eventually summons the Elder Gods to earth which causes an all-out war of humans vs Great Ones. Some of these creatures are benevolent and fight alongside the humans. The war lasts for a thousand years and eventually the world becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Arkham Sanitarium is rebuilt and continues to operate as one of the “last bastions of hope”, or so it is known to the remaining populace of earth. It also remains one of the few places on earth where the last remnants of nature exists. Many of the Old Ones are killed or flee back to their home planets or planes of existence. The human race’s population is reduced to a small fraction. William continues to conduct his experiments in the facility. And it is in this alternate timeline where the viewer often finds themselves.

The Various Doctors and Staff Members: There are various people and creatures that are doctors and staff members at Arkham Sanitarium. Some of them were patients, some were creatures captured by the professor. There is a Deep One (from Lovecraft’s works) named Deep One Dave, Nurse Iggy Manley a man’s man and often a parody on the stereotypical straight guy, a sentient rhinoceros rescued from a forest, an older gentleman called “Grandpa”, a zombie doctor named Frank Walker, Charlie Carl a resident who is always seen on the floor scratching the carpet, Dr. Lampert Schaede a psychologist who always wears a lampshade on his head, and many more too numerous to list at the time of this writing. One possibility is that all of these people do actually exist as individuals in the universe, while another not-so-popular theory is that they are all personalities of the main character William Clemmons. I personally do not like this latter theory all too much, but there you have it!

That’s all I can remember and have time to write as of now. I’ll update this in the future with additional details and anything else I may have forgotten.

Thanks for reading!
E.R.