Barbie.avi

Here’s one of those rare hoaxes that has a backstory more interesting and disturbing than the tall tale constructed around it. A few years back, someone posted a creepypasta to the /x/ (paranormal) sub-forum of 4chan, the infamous imageboard and wellspring of the Anonymous hacker collective. The original text is here (the link to the first video is dead, find it here). In short, it purports to be the first person account of someone who finds strange interview footage on a discarded computer. The story itself is only mildly creepy and not particularly original, but the videos have continued to invoke powerful feelings of unease in most people who watch them. Part of this is due, I think, to the dissonance of the garbled audio (what is she saying?), part of it to the unsourceable nature of the footage (where does this come from?), but most of it lies in the odd framing (what can’t we see?) and the strange affectation of the subject. She seems paradoxically blasé and unhinged. Why? The solution lies in the 4th video. The letters “BIID” briefly flash at the beginning, and at 1:30, you learn the subject has no right arm. A little research reveals that BIID stands for “Body Integrity Identity Disorder,”  a rare condition in which the sufferer feels compelled to voluntarily amputate one or more limbs. The source of the footage remains unknown, but several screen shots such as the one presented here have recently surfaced which–pardon the double entendre–prove the frame was artificially cropped.