What's the SCP about "Does the Black Moon Howl?" and the meaning of certain responses? I think it was a doctor of some kind diagnosing something?

It's not SCP-4002, since that just establishes that the responses exist and mean something. And its backlinks aren't shedding any light.

When activated, the trigger will cause the subject to utter a vocalization related to the nature of any present anomalies affecting them.


And it's not https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-3773, although that does have:

Dr. Pike: It never stopped the sun from smiling.

Dr. West: Cognitohazard still present. According to Dr. Breaker, that response is consistent with a cognitohazard originating from Egypt, last seen in—

  • 1
    Also asked about on the SCP forums: scp-wiki.wikidot.com/forum/t-5468586/does-the-black-moon-howl
    – Buzz
    Sep 14, 2021 at 23:09
  • I think the best answer to what the Black Moon phrase means is that it depends. The Foundation has no established canon and likes to keep it that way, so what the phrase really means differs depending on who writes the story. When Drakerunner came up with the Phrase for SCP-256 however it seems to be used as a security question for passwords. Sep 15, 2021 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


Aha! SCP-5236!

It's in the INQ-5236 section! For example:

E5-2: Senior Researcher Corbett's negative reply to the black moon indicates falsehood and deception. Poetic analysis suggests a deliberate lie on Corbett's part, with knowledge of wrongdoing.


The phrase was originally used in SCP-257-ARC nd SCP-256, both of which are authored by Drakerunner. Also, although I can't seem to refind it at the moment, one earlier use of the phrase appears in an entry on the "LiveWire Journal" website(as I believe it was called.) In the comments of 256, author Kain Pathos Crow claims that Drakerunner's intention was to use it in a tale about extradimensional aliens who took over the Earth, and also happened to use the phrase quite often. Supposedly, the phrase was sent back to the present Foundation from this alternate future. In its original articles, the phrase was used to diagnose someone who was affected by memetic hazards, as only those affected with a memetic hazard would provide these odd cryptic responses. Later articles also use it as a general password prompt or password, and SCP-5236 notably uses it to see into a person's current emotional state, or to tell when they're lying.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Please do come back and update this with quotes whenever you find them. Could you be referring to "livejournal?"
    – DavidW
    Nov 12, 2023 at 3:25
  • I found this post on LiveJournal; is that what you were looking for?
    – DavidW
    Nov 12, 2023 at 3:30
  • It looks like SCP-257-ARC only contains the challenge and a response without any discussion of what or if the response has any meaning.
    – DavidW
    Nov 12, 2023 at 3:37
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