What Happened at Caledon Local 21 in 1999?
Not very many people remember the television shows broadcast from Caledon Local 21 in Ontario, Canada. Fact is, the channel could only be brought in through a low frequency which required old school rabbit ear antenna. Plus, the station only played a few shows; namely, Mr. Bear's Cellar and Booby.
The only evidence that the station existed comes primarily from a blog of a young man who was recounting his childhood memories of the shows he watched on channel 21 in his effort to find answers to unanswered questions about the station and his childhood. The blog ends abruptly as it appeared to be hacked.
We're not sure where Elliot--the writer of the blog--is and wer're not sure what happened at Channel 21.
Elliot said he attempted to visit the station in the late 1990s because he wanted to appear on the Mr. Bear show. But when he and his father arrived at the station, they were in for a surprise.
Channel 21 only operated for just under 2 years in the late 1990s: From 1997 to 1999. During the last year of operation of the channel, Elliot spent significant time watching shows from the station on his little old second-hand TV that his Dad got him to appease him because his Pokémon shows conflicted with his Dad's evening news. Evidently, it was only these old school TV sets that could bring in the station.
Recalling his memories of the episodes he watched on Channel 21, he realized they were a bit odd. One of the main characters was apparently played by a guy in a big bear suit and was named Mr. Bear. The other program Eliiot watched was Booby, which had the main character portrayed by a hand acting as a puppet.
The episodes got strange, to say the least.
One show was simply called Soup and Spoon and featured a spoon and can of soup dangling from strings with the spoon "chasing" the soup. You then see a group of kids sitting at a table, looking scared and confused, the can of soup held in front of them and a voice saying, "Spoooons ready?"
Episode 23 of Mr. Bear's Cellar was frightening but to a young Elliot just seemed like possibly a show for the "grown-ups". It starts with the camera on its side, then the camera fades out and comes back in upright and you see Mr. Bear talking to a kid who is older than the usual kids on the show. The kid is talking loudly about it being late and saying his sister needed to come home and then Mr. Bear begins speaking, using profanity, in a threatening manner to the child. The kid starts up the stairs saying he's going to call the police at which point Mr Bear rushes toward him and the kid screams and runs and the camera cuts out.
Playing with Scissors was an even more disturbing episode of the Booby show in which Booby is dancing around with a pair of scissors with his "girlfriend" which is played by a hand with a ribbon tied to its pinkie. Another smaller hand is introduced, jerking around as if struggling, and Booby says, "Scissors are very dangerous kids, so hold them safely." Elliot states in his blog that Booby's girlfriend grabbed the smaller hand and "Booby went at it with the scissors".
Finally, Elliot describes Episode 28 of Mr. Bear's Cellar that played throughout August 1999, which simply shows Mr. Bear inviting kids to join him in the cellar and then shows the address on the screen where the kids could write to him.
It was at that point that Elliot sent Mr. Bear a letter. Mr. Bear replied with a letter describing how fun the cellar was and where to go to join him on the show.
Elliot's father took him to the address, where they found an old run-down farmhouse in an isolated area on the edge of town. When they knocked on the door, the police answered. His father only told Elliot later what the policeman talked to him about privately outside of earshot. Turned out some unknown man ran the station and was kidnapping kids and keeping them there in the cellar. He left the house the night before the police came to investigate.
Over the course of years, as Elliot got older, his father let him in on what had happened and introduced him to a cop friend that had even more information. He was told that the police had found 16 charred bodies in a big ditch near the house. Elliot was able to watch more episodes that had been confiscated by the police, too.
Variously, the shows featured ramblings about appeasing Satan and wanderings in the forest. One bizarre episode involved Mr. Bear fixing a mixture of orange juice for the kids who were sitting at the table, one of the kids turning out to be the one Mr. Bear argued with and ran after up the stairs of the cellar. Elliot finds out the kids had been drugged prior to being taken to the ditch.
Elliot eventually visits the house again; this was by the time he was a young adult. He ends up seeing the entrance to the cellar at the side of the house but quickly passes it because of a bad feeling about it. He goes into the woods at the back of the house and finds a clearing with 3 logs surrounding a charred area of earth. Some teenage kids confront him but soon, after some questioning, tell him that the guy who ran Channel 21 is still around and lives in the storm drain nearby.
Eventually Elliot does go back to visit the "storm drain", but never sees the man who was Mr. Bear. However, he takes some pictures and leaves.
It's at this point that Elliot begins to receive emails supposedly from Mr. Bear.
My dear, dear boy,
I have missed you ever so much, oh how you've grown! Your twinkling eyes have stayed the same however, those eyes looking for adventure, oh how imagining them brings warmth to my old bear heart. That day you came to visit me I felt so happy I wanted to go out and pick strawberries. He told me you would come looking! Oh yes he told me you would come looking.
Now it will be soon, you won't be so lonely soon! I'm ever so sorry I couldn't say hello when you came to visit, not once, 2 times! Do not fret however, you will soon finally get to play with the other children. I will try making my cellar even cozier than before!!!
100 fuzzy hugs,
Elliot is able to see more tapes of the show that had been confiscated by police, including the episode of the sacrifice. He saw some of the worst of it but couldn't bear to watch some of it.
The Blog Gets Hacked
This is where the blog ends abruptly, apparently hacked, with one final, eerie, message.
Once upon a time...
There lived a boy named Elliot
Elliot was a clever boy who loved to play with friends
One day he watched a lovely television show about a bear and his children friends
The children loved helping each other as good children should, but they also loved the bear
The bear loved the children since the children were so good at helping him and the fallen angel
The children and the bear wanted to play forever with the help of their friend Booby
But the fallen angel needed even more help, so the children had to give the ultimate sacrifice
Because that's what friends do Elliot
They help each other
Help us Elliot, burn with us Elliot
I want you Elliot, he wants you Elliot
Come back to the cellar
Pretty please with sugar and icing on top!
- Mr. B
There are many possibilities as to what this blog is. It could be a well-crafted parody of how we teach kids in strangely misguided ways to conform. It could be just a spooky story someone created for the fun of it.
Or it could be a true account of a mentally ill man who ran a TV station from his cellar and victimized more than a dozen kids. In which case, who is he? Maybe he's Elliot. Probably not.
How did Mr. Bear know Elliot had visited the house twice? He sent Elliot that email about seeing him come "visit" before Elliot ever blogged about investigating the storm drain.
The hack, I suppose, didn't have to be committed by Mr. B. It could have been committed by any prankster, as well the emails from Mr. B could have been sent by anyone.
I suppose we'll never know.
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