Listen to the Creepy ‘Death Tape’ of the WKCR Signal Hijacking Incident
When late-night talk radio host Clyde Lewis says the audio he's about to play is the creepiest he's ever heard, that's saying something. This audio was first aired on his show in August of 2013. The recording is from the mid-1990s and is from a reportedly hijacked broadcast to be from Columbia University's WKCR in New York City.
First appearing on the 4chan paranormal message board (a link that now appears broken and lost), the poster claims he was recording a musical performance in either 1994 or '95 and became so unnerved by what he heard he put the cassette in a drawer and tried to forget about it. Now, some 16 years later (as of the publication online), he wanted to share it on the internet with hopes of someone figuring out what the audio means.
The hijacking broadcasting signals occurs very rarely in the United States. There is a famous instance of a takeover of HBO by 'Captain Midnight' and the Max Headroom broadcasts in Chicago.
The WKCR incident was uploaded to YouTube with the title, 'The Old Tape.' The channel, Ravenmouth, and contains no other videos.
The channel's YouTube ID is AD1066ish. Interesting because that year, 1066, is notable for many incidents:
- A massive massacre of the Jewish population in Grenada in modern-day Spain.
- Haley's Comet appeared
- Edward the Confessor dies.
- William the Conquerer begins his invasion and reign of England including the Battle of Hastings.
Here's what the person who first recorded this had to say:
The weird stuff starts about 16 seconds in.
Around 1995, I was about 15. I used to stay up late in my room listening to the radio on a boombox with an integrated tape recorder. I'd dial through the stations, and when I heard something interesting I'd hit record for a while, then move on.
One night, I came across this. I don't think this was the beginning of the broadcast, but I caught a lot of it. Right at the end, an announcer says that the station I was tuned to was WKCR 89.9 New York. There are a bunch of names and dates in there, but...I've never run into anything else like this.
We call this the 'Death Tape' as the recording includes names of dead people, including some who lost their lives in the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103.
The intrusion begins with unnerving high-pitched tones before launching into the death roll.
We'll leave the interpretation up to you. What do the odd sounds and voices mean?