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Ghouli.net

Disclaimer: Please note that I do not own any of the ghouli.net content linked below. My intent here is simply to archive the posts from the website ghouli.net for future reference in case the site disappears or becomes otherwise inaccessible. 

Ghouli.net was one of my favorite aspects of Season 11. It was a sort of ARG that tied into the episode Ghouli and also served to give us a glimpse of different aspects of Jackson’s life over the past 17 years, a clever way to fill in some of the blanks when screen time was limited.

As I’m writing this in February 2019, a little over a year after the episode first aired, the website is technically still up, though in a state of disrepair. There are some issues with formatting and missing images, and the “Sightings” image gallery is no longer available at all. Many people are unable to access the site on their devices due to security warnings, likely due to allowing the site’s security certificate to expire. Because of this, even the archived pages are not an accurate visual representation of the site as it originally appeared, though the content remains unchanged. [November 2019 Update: The website is no longer online.]

 

Site Appearance

The site originally appeared nearly identical to the way it looks in the episode itself. The main difference between the posts on the published website and the site as seen in the episode is that some of the posts dates were changed to better align with when the episode actually aired. The site itself was built in WordPress, and as such, also had a mobile version with a slightly different look that we never saw in the show.

Since the site is no longer available, the best resource we have for what it originally looked like is what we see in the episode Ghouli when Mulder and Scully are browsing the site in the coffee shop. Here are some samples:

01_screaming skull 02_in the future we shall not thrive 03_dream disease apocalypse

This is a partial screenshot I was able to grab of the site before it went down completely. The placement of the images and preview entries are swapped compared to the episode. I’m unsure if it was originally like this, as this was taken after the site was already experiencing formatting issues.

ghoulidotnet_thisscreamingskull

Here are a couple of links I was able to grab before the site went down completely, though unfortunately not before it fell into disrepair. The first link shows the general formatting of the Encounters page, though the images are unfortunately missing. The second link is without any formatting but contains the full text of all of the entries.

“Encounters” page with original layout and previews, though missing images.

All “Encounters” entries (full text) in reverse chronological order.

And finally, here are a couple shots of the mobile version of the site, taken back in January 2018. These are from the body of the post You are the Living Key in a Dying Function. 

Ghouli_Screenshot_2018-01-25

 

Interactivity

In addition to Jackson’s posts, you can see that other users had also submitted contributions, and the website took this a step farther and actually allowed real-life viewers to submit their own stories and images. You will find these user-submitted posts mixed in with the official entries in the links above. The site also allowed users to comment on all posts. The user-submitted posts are the ones between the January 23rd post “You are the Living Key in a Dying Function” and the March 9th post “Spook.” It’s unclear if there were any official posts mixed in with the user-submitted ones during this time frame.

 

Episode Differences

As mentioned earlier, there are some slight differences between the real-life website and the version in the episode. For some of the more recent entries, the date in the episode was about a month later than when the entries appeared on the real-life site. The intent was to have the site appear exactly as it did in the episode, however, the episode ended up airing earlier than they had anticipated when shooting it, resulting in the episode taking place a few weeks in the future compared to when it actually aired. Since the posts on the real-life site couldn’t be future-dated to match the episode, those dates needed to be changed so that the posts that Mulder and Scully see in the episode were also available for viewers to read at the time the episode aired.  For the older entries, the dates remained unchanged.

In addition to this, there are some posts in the “Most Recent Encounters”/”Top Encounters” sections of the site that don’t appear to have a corresponding post on the real-life website, or if they do, the names of the posts were changed. (The “Top Encounters” section was also replaced by “Popular Tags” on the real-life site.) The majority of these posts were attributed to “@rever.” The titles of these unseen @rever posts are:

Night Wanderings
Winter’s Reconing
Haunting Season
Fear the Falling of the Sun
Comply
When Through the Darkenss Comes
Obedience

 

Posts by @REVER (a.k.a. Jackson Van De Kamp/William)

Here are the entries attributed to “@REVER” on the site. The links should include the full text and comments, however, most of the formatting and images have unfortunately been lost. I may have some of the images saved and can see if I might be able to add them back in at some point. I’m also still planning on archiving the non-Jackson posts, as well.

23 OCTOBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Crawling Empty Full

24 OCTOBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Your Imploding Cells

2 NOVEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
3H00. After Dark.

2 NOVEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
4H00. After Rust.

20 NOVEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Möbius Strip Tease

16 DECEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Encounter I

19 DECEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Knives Out (Encounter II)

20 DECEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Mississippi, Delta Waves

22 DECEMBER, 2017 ~ @REVER
Dream Disease Apocalypse

22 JANUARY, 2018 ~ @REVER
In the Future, We Shall Not Thrive

22 JANUARY, 2018 ~ @REVER (20 February, 2018 in episode)
Melt, It Said.

23 JANUARY, 2018 ~ @REVER (23 February, 2018 in episode)
This Screaming Skull

23 JANUARY, 2018 ~ @REVER
You are the Living Key in a Dying Function

9 MARCH, 2018 ~ @REVER
Spook

 

Posts by Other Users

In addition to Jackson, Ghouli.net had other contributors. Here are some of the other official posts by other users.

25 OCTOBER, 2017 ~ @CameraBabushka
THEM & THEY

30 OCTOBER, 2017 ~ @ThisMan
Radio Surfer

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