The Princeton Tapes

[transcribed by your voyeur]



I received the following files on a USB, nearly 8 months after initially contacting William Davidson. Two of the old tape recordings were in there too, but they seem too damaged to restore. This was accompanied by a folder with a transcript of some recordings that didn't have digital files. I've typed them up to make it easier for others to follow along, and provided a viewing order in a separate text file.

I'm not sure if Vinny wants us to listen to these. I almost contemplated not releasing them, but I truly think listening to these recordings is going to be the only way for us to help Vinny now. HABIT, if you're reading this, fuck you. - J

Viewing Order.txt:

HELLO WORLD (a) - 00:33
HELLO WORLD (b) - 18:34
COLD TURKEY (a) - 56:15
COLD TURKEY (b) - 57:27
FRIENDS & GAMING - 01:00:54
THE SUBURBS (a) - 01:10:31
THE SUBURBS (b) - 01:13:41
HOME - 01:16:47
RUNNING - 01:23:31
TRAILHEAD - 01:27:36
SHOPPING - 01:33:21
HOME LIFE - 01:33:21
MOVIES - 01:39:29
NASSAU STREET - 01:40:30
DRIVING - 01:43:21
PJ's - 01:43:31
THE VISIT - 01:44:19
AFTER DAWN - 01:48:20
INSPECTION - 01:48:55
ANIMALS - 01:49:11
STORM IS COMING - 01:50:16
MORNING - 01:52:23
BLANK - 01:54:58
FURTHER STUDY PT. I - 01:55:09
WAKE - 01:58:18
CALLBACK - 01:58:37
LEAVING - 02:05:05

Princeton Tapes

  • HELLO WORLD (a): “Alright, good. I am bringing these tapes to somebody I trust. I’m not gonna mention who right now, just in case. Just know that you will get these when you are supposed to. I’m sending all the tapes. I know some of them are from back when I was naïve and didn’t quite understand the situation. But some of my observations are relevant, so you’re getting those and I’m sorry for all that you had to sit through. You can help, but do it discretely. And whatever you do, do not bring anybody else who is not already involved into this.”
  • From the start, the tapes clearly do not take place in our present: after a tone, audio of Vince thanking his grandmother for sending him a microphone for Christmas cuts to the above monologue recorded much later. When the earlier audio for his grandmother resumes, Vince discusses ordinary life in Princeton. He mentions looking for friends, with Jeff and Evan helping him avoid “bad influences”.
    • Minutiae: Vince indicates that his grandmother suggested his move to Princeton and helped him with regards to some past negative experience he would rather not discuss. He mentions seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in a theater that shows new and old films.
  • HELLO WORLD (b): “Alright, that wasn’t my fault and we all know it. Oh my God… yeah, yeah, yeah, alright. Well, now is not the time to talk about this. Yes, I am gonna play that card.”
  • Vince calls his grandmother, mentioning that he gets “most of the game shows and the news” on cable and currently attends individual and group meetings at a “Center” for help with past issues.
    • Minutiae: Vince’s grandmother apparently asks to send a “care package” and brings up something he would rather not discuss.
  • CONVENIENCE STORE: “I am convinced that this store-brand iced tea and some shitty fried food will cure this depression. My hypothesis will be tested and validated by the people of this corner store who will know my usual order soon.”
  • Vince records this inside a convenience store, presumably not for his grandmother.
    • Minutiae: Vince is apparently calling someone that he intends to meet soon.
  • A half-hour of diegetic audio from “The Price Is Right”, Episode 6783D (March 22, 1988).
    • Minutiae: Vince coughs at the end.
  • COLD TURKEY (a): “I had talked about in group… having this recorder and how I used to talk to you on it for a little bit. And everyone thought it would probably be a good idea if I picked it back up even though we talk on the phone and all that good stuff… to really get back into the swing of things and sort of keep it as a… like, an emotion journal, more or less, to keep things on track and listen back if I need to put things in perspective.”
  • Vince records this entry for his grandmother.
    • Minutiae: Vince gives the date as August 16th.
  • COLD TURKEY (b): “The good and the bad is just… it’s always there. You know, it’s so easy to linger on the extreme, just whichever pole you’re currently clinging to. But it is important to let yourself bask in all of it… I think, especially when you physically feel like hell. When things are just going to shit, knowing that it’s for a better purpose, or even if you’re just throwing up your guts and wanting to die, remembering that someone out there is laughing, or falling in love, or just able to fall asleep. Bringing that balance into scope can give you a happy medium to cling to. You can use it to help raise yourself up… that baseline decent is what I’m clinging to shaken from withdrawal, throwing up when I try to eat, barely tolerating water at this point, knowing that one day I can just be normal and sad versus manic and fucking dead inside. That is my light at the end of this tunnel. At this point, at the height of it all, when the walls crawl and I wake up exhausted, I’d always see him right there and I don’t know if it was because of the substances or just because of me and my fucked up brain chemistry or some goddamn nightmare.”
  • Recording his first journal entry, Vince’s words indicate that he has issues with mental illness and substance dependence related to long-term encounters with the Slender Man (“him”).
    • Minutiae: Vince expresses doubts about the Center’s effectiveness for him, since he has withdrawal issues that he hasn’t disclosed and thinks he will continue seeing the Slender Man no matter what, but wants to stay with people (including “friends from the Center”).
  • FRIENDS & GAMING: “Out of nowhere, I just come up with a brilliant idea to be like, ‘so, did you check out that cool new game that came out?’ And he goes, ‘pardon me, sir?’ And I go, ‘so it’s like, a little red guy or something, and he’s jumping around on mushrooms, and jumping around on blocks, and running around’… and he knew what I was talking about.”
  • Vince, Evan, and Jeff play Dungeons & Dragons on June 7th.
    • Minutiae: The boys’ conversations refer to Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential run and the 1985 release of Super Mario Bros. as contemporary events.
  • THE SUBURBS (a): “I know I’ve been a little paranoid lately and thinking that somebody’s following me, but… this is just bizarre. There’s a… speed limit’s about 45, I’m doing about 45, and I can see something like the size of a dog. And it’s almost keeping… fuck! Geez… it’s like it’s keeping pace with me. Shit… fuck, keep yourself together, fuck, not possible… and it’s almost like it’s going fast enough that it can get ahead of me and sit at the next pole and wait, and then… shit. It’s not a dog.”
  • Vince records his first encounter with the Rake while driving at 12:05 am. He eventually sees it run in front of his car so that he sees it up close, and he says that it “looked wrong, like it didn’t belong on all fours”.
    • Minutiae: At the end, Vince tries to convince himself that he was only overreacting.
  • THE SUBURBS (b): “It is really eerie how quickly these small city lights fade and you find yourself passing through woods and beyond that, onto rolling hills and farmland. So anyway, I’m driving, it’s dark, the moon is out, and it’s very bright. So it’s dark, but you can see. To my left, there is a whole wide-open field… it looks like a field that was maybe harvested, the crops are harvested so it was just empty, obviously nothing’s growing this time of year. So I can see back about half a mile before the fog sort of took over… just a cold blue field at night, but that’s not really what caught my eye. On my right, there is a tree line that’s very close to the road and I usually have my eye there because there’s deer and they’re pretty much constant, so something manages to catch my eye in the dark, on the right. Everything was either black or pale gray, but in the moonlight, I caught something almost like a deerskin skittering through the tree line. I couldn’t exactly trace it, and it fucking did not move like a deer. But it was an animal, it wasn’t my imagination. But it was big. It looked feral, almost like a starving, trapped animal. Dog, maybe? I don’t know. But the really bizarre… it was keeping pace perfectly with my car. I swear, if I could discern a face or its glare, I could almost guarantee we would have been making eye contact. It’s staring me down, not breaking away.”
  • Vince recounts his encounter with the Rake after the fact.
    • Minutiae: Vince is otherwise happy about his friends, school, grocery stores, doctor, and the Center being all in the same place.
  • HOME: “This is kind of embarrassing but I have to admit, on nights like this when I have to drive back from group and drive through farmland, I think I’m going to leave this running for a bit? It’s almost like a nightlight or a security blanket, I guess. I just… I feel so strange, I get goosebumps when I walk in on nights like this. It’s almost like a companion when your friends are away.”
  • Vince records this at home one night –finishing a journal entry, showering, and turning it off before he goes to bed.
    • Minutiae: Running water and ambient noise can be heard. The song in this recording is “Blue Monday” by New Order. 1:20:00
  • RUNNING: “I had dreams last night that I was running. Lots and lots of running. I’m just looking forward to a quiet night and the weekend, and hopefully some sleep.”
  • Vince records this at home in the morning.
    • Minutiae: This entry presumably continues off of the previous one.
  • IT HAPPENED AGAIN: “I know I’ve been a little paranoid lately and thinking that somebody’s following me, but… this is just bizarre. There’s a… speed limit’s about 45, I’m doing about 45, and I can see something like the size of a dog. And it’s almost keeping… fuck! Geez… it’s like it’s keeping pace with me. Shit… fuck, keep yourself together, fuck, not possible… and it’s almost like it’s going fast enough that it can get ahead of me and sit at the next pole and wait, and then… shit. It’s not a dog.”
  • An exact repeat of the audio from “THE SUBURBS (a)”.
    • Minutiae: No seriously, it’s the exact same audio.
  • TRAILHEAD: “Anyway, I am looking through this and on the last page is a special little blurb that they dedicate to true crime. I see there, right below some white collar bullshit and minor heists, my name, Vinny. Now, obviously this is not about me, I’m not in trouble. And the article brief says it’s some Podunk town in Pennsylvania that this happened. Now I’m laughing it off, and I turn the page to the back cover to check out the rest, and I swear everything stood still. You know what I see on the back of this thing? I see me on the back cover of this pamphlet, but of course it’s not actually me. But this Vincent, the survivor of some creep pastor who got torn apart by some equally crazy murderer or animal or something? Was a kid, and he looked just like me. It was a spitting image of me as a five-year-old kid.”
  • Vince discusses a ufology pamphlet he took from a girl on Nassau Street. He plans to find her again to see if it was just some kind of prank.
    • Minutiae: Vince records this over coffee at PJ’s Pancake House, where he opened the zine. When considering if it was a prank, he says, “I don’t know if the guys disappeared on me and this is some sick way of trying to say sorry and get back into my good graces”.
  • SHOPPING: “I guess sometimes you just have to get out and be surrounded by people. It’s especially true when it feels like those closest to you just abandon you, you know? Fuck, even if you’re all strangers, at least you’re together. We are supposed to be social creatures, right? Isn’t that the phrase?”
  • Vince records this inside a grocery store.
    • Minutiae: “At least the Phillies won”, Vince remarks.
  • HOME LIFE: “So it looks like we’re supposed to get rain tomorrow, huh? Yep… chances are, that girl’s probably not gonna be there. No shaking down lonely nerds looking for some creepy reading material. Maybe I will catch a movie tomorrow.”
  • Vince records radio broadcasts about the weather while saying this.
    • Minutiae: The broadcasts discuss Hurricane Hugo (from 1989) and a Parks Department exhibit called “Noah’s Ark” inspired by the summer’s heavy rain.


I, uh, just got out of Pet Sematary and… well, damn. I loved it. Certainly got me thinking about all that weird shit from earlier this week though. And. And that animal. Ugh. Fuck it. It's a beautiful day. I'm going to go for a drive. I'll look for the goth chick later. I'm thinking… I'm thinking Omega Diner. (CAR DOOR CLOSES, RECORDING DEVICE SHUFFLED WITH JACKET ONTO PASSENGER SEAT)


Huh. I think you're in pretty deep shit if you need help from a lawyer who advertises on the radio. Heh.


Oh, shit. God bless.



  • NASSAU STREET: “I always think this section is the saddest thing. Like, spooky shit’s fun. But that stuff is… real. That’s the real horror. But anyways, here. Take our card. We’re sponsored by the student government, so you could get a journalism credit if that’s your thing.”
  • Vince talks to the girl, who belongs to a university club of “cryptozoologists and UFO chasers”. She does not recognize the boy from the pamphlet.
    • Minutiae: Vince concludes that his friends weren’t pranking him and considers calling them.





I'm eating grapefruit with a sprinkling of sugar. Look at me. Healthy eating, I think? Anyway, I found one of the school's publication shouters out there. It was a guy this time, black dude, and I asked him about the little boy, the other Vinny. He shot me a look and asked, "Oh, the killer pediatrician? Yikes." I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Seems the running theory about this urban legend, the patriarch of that family on the TV, this James Corenthal, killed his kids or something after adopting them from broken homes. The dude didn't seem that interested in this piece of apparent true crime and was more into gnomes or Bigfoot or some shit, but I thanked him and headed here, to PJ's, for breakfast, or lunch? Brunch? To eat.

I'm still giddy. James Corenthal? I fucking heard that name from somewhere before.

  • THE VISIT: “You are not mine to take. You are tainted. You are marked.”
  • The Rake awakens Vince and speaks to him. It says that it will not kill him because it has “an agreement”, in response to Vince asking if it’s “with that other thing”. It cuts him while explaining this, and leaves with the promise to “check in”.
    • Minutiae: Vince had seen the Rake the night before, and knew that it came from the closet. The Rake entered its agreement begrudgingly (“I am very old, I’ve seen many things, and I’ve had my share of fun. Not so much fun, this agreement is very rewarding for me”).


It's been raining since I got up. Raining hard.


I don't… I don't think anything will be getting done today. And… and I don't want to jinx anything, but I haven't seen that.. dog in a while. Almost shit myself looking out the window, but it was just the nieghbors bone-and-muscle greyhound getting loose and streaking across the street.

But… I did dream of the Man again.



Oh, fuck, I left this thing running—

  • ANIMALS: “I read that the county will be culling deer soon. Maybe that’s why… maybe, I don’t know, the wildlife get all spooked this time of year. Maybe it’s just open season and the wolves and nasty things get a taste of blood in the air. Maybe whatever I saw the other night was just some mangish predator. There has to be an explanation for it. A wolf with busted-up legs almost starving to death, its internal clock saying ‘hey, it’s suppertime, you have to eat, you have to survive’ and getting stir-crazy, getting closer to pockets of life, running toe-to-toe with… fucking cars. I just happened to cross its path… that’s all.”
  • Vince attempts to rationalize his first encounter with the Rake.
    • Minutiae: This recording would have taken place before “THE VISIT”, since he only then affirms the Rake’s existence.
  • STORM IS COMING: “Fuck, its 3:47 am, woke up… bad fucking dream. I couldn’t get out of an old building; it was very white, like, inorganically sterile. Like a new hospital that nobody got a chance to use or some weird prison. I had this weird bout of sleep paralysis after I woke up. I wasn’t completely free of the dream yet; I heard the fading tinkling of a song, like gentle piano keys, a faraway whining sound fading away from me. It was… it was almost pretty.”
  • Vince describes a dream he had about an old building before his shuffling awake seemingly turned on the recorder.
    • Minutiae: Vince comments that he has no photos of his family or friends –just his “apparent doppelganger” from the pamphlet.
  • MORNING: “We may not ever know what happened to little Vincent and his adopted family, but we can truly hope that they escaped whatever horrors followed them, from faraway points across the east coasts to a children’s home in Ohio to the loving home of a doctor and his wife. Vinny has been missing but is presumed… thank you for watching Unsolved Mysteries.”
  • Vince says that he had insomnia and heard his name on Unsolved Mysteries, and the above-quoted audio from the show cuts into the recording as soon as he introduces it. Disturbed, Vince plans to talk to the ufology club.
    • Minutiae: Vince giggles uncontrollably close to the end, and says that “it hasn’t been this bad since a week without my substances”.



  • FURTHER STUDY PT. I: “I hit a manic streak and I went over to the Princeton Library… you know, just started nosing around. You have to use a little computer filing system, but uh… James fucking Corenthal. I was right. He worked at the hospital, found those kids, Vinny and his siblings… uh, step-siblings, excuse me, I don’t know, half… adopted. He adopted them at some point at the Fairmount Children’s Home in bumfuck Ohio and then, and then this fucker started traveling the country and apparently, after he killed his kids, decided on a whim to just… you know, take a trip.”
  • Vince says that after finding this information on Corenthal, he found out that his number in the Yellow Pages forwarded to William Davidson’s office in Princeton. He talks to a receptionist there, who says that Davidson isn’t in and she cannot disclose client information. Alarms go off.
    • Minutiae: Vince calls the office a “cool old building”.


Uh. So, I'm across the street from Davidson Law. I was talking to the receptionist and… I saw a fire just.. Creep up on a stack of folders behind her. Folders, envelopes. Shit just went up. I guess in all the confusion, they didn't even finger me for anything once the firefighters and everything showed up. It looks almost fine from the outside. Just a scare, but damn that's going to be a messy cleanup for the reception area.

That was… that was too weird. I'm not done with William Davidson.






No… oh, fuck no, fuck no, FUCK YOU.


I, I almost hit the, the fucking dog, that thing just leapt out in front of my car and, and stared me down. It knew it was me. I KNOW HE KNOWS ME, IT WAS LOOKING FOR ME. God damn it, godamnit—


I'm. I'm all sorts of fucked up right now. My head's going a mile a minute. I locked the doors, pulled the blinds. I'm just going… I'm just going to take it easy, hold up, get comfortable.

  • CALLBACK: “William Davidson, even with the fire and all that, knew I was there. And I don’t think I even gave them my name, but he still tracked me down after all that. It’s weird, he seemed… anxious, but not like he was avoiding; anxious like he was trying to help the best he could. He let me know that yes, he’s James’ lawyer but that I was mistaken about a few things. Although he did say he couldn’t tell me much beyond that, other than James is still actively trying. He’s not… he’s not a bad man, he said, and although he speaks all over the country, he’s still very local to where he worked and lived in Ohio. Alliance, Ohio.”
  • Vince receives a call from William Davidson. After recalling what it was about, he states his plans to call the Fairmount Children’s Home the next day and suspicions that it relates to the Slender Man. This ruins his mood, because the situation may be “some nightmare or goddamn fever dream or some bullshit I can’t shake myself out of”.
    • Minutiae: Vince thinks about going to Alliance but quickly reconsiders it.
  • Vince calls the Fairmount Children’s Home and talks to one Dr. Gordon Peters, who apparently tells him that they can only do interviews in person. He says he will call again to schedule a meeting.
    • Minutiae: Vince lies about being an Alliance High School student needing information for a report.



Yes, just, just tell Davidson that something came up, I have to get out of town for a little while, medical stuff… I feel like I'M GOING FUCKING CRAZY, but, but I'm going to Ohio. Tell William I'm going to see a mutual friend in Ohio, alright? Thank you — yes, my name is Vinny, I'm his.. I'm a client, thank you!


Alright, I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. But I need to get out of this house. I'm either stalked by that fucking tall fuck in my dreams or at night, or, or now that fucking ANIMAL IS CREEPING UP ON ME IN MY OWN BEDROOM. Okay, breathe. Breathe.

If… I think I can get some answers out there, at the children's home. At Fairmount. But… but if something happens to me. I'm leaving my contact information and a… living will of sorts on this tape recorder. Instructions. I'll be okay.

But now, I'm leaving. Good-the-fuck-bye, house.


  • FINDING FAIRMOUNT: “Well, what should we do with this? It says ‘return to William Davidson’.”
  • Vince interviews Dr. Peters, who says that the hospital repurposed its old children’s wing for Desert Storm veterans and that they no longer associate with Corenthal. Before their conversation can go much further, Vince collapses. Dr. Peters calls a nurse and tries to get other doctors, but Vince reportedly dies at 6:45 pm of the apparent seizure or stroke.
    • Minutiae: Based on Dr. Peters’ conversation with the nurse, Vince had vomited some of the black fluid that also came from his eyes; the nurse’s final statement, quoted above, accounts for how these tapes wound up in Davidson’s possession.

Alternate Princeton Tapes

EverymanHYBRID video “Finding Fairmount.” shows Vince hearing undiscovered Princeton Tapes. The first diverges from “FINDING FAIRMOUNT”:

PETERS. Is this why you came here? To ask me about Doctor Corenthal?

VINCENT. No, no, not at all. That’s part of it. I thought it’d be good to start with the history and work our way up.

PETERS. You are a determined little cunt, aren’t you?

VINCENT. Excuse me?

PETERS. You heard me.

VINCENT. Oh fuck… okay… there’s something seriously fucking wrong with this place. I can’t find anybody. I can’t find anybody. The doctor, he… he came after me. So I ran. I never looked back. And he’s bleeding from everywhere… his eyes are just… they’re just filled with blood. I’ve gotta get out of here. I’ve gotta hide out. So I must have gotten turned around because I thought I was… I thought I was running towards the exit. I thought I was running towards the exit, the way that I came in, but I think I’m in a different wing now. I think he’s coming. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, come on, come on…

PETERS. Children of the woods, lost and alone; the trees cast spells, nobody knowable.

VINCENT. I am currently hiding under a desk in an office that looks like Dr. Peters’ office. Um… except it’s not. Everything looks old. This part of the building doesn’t look like it’s been used… in decades. This place is like a labyrinth. The farther I go in, the older and more desolate everything looks. And uh… this looks just like Dr. Peters’ office. The chair is the same, the papers on the desk are the same. Older, but they are the same. I’m just waiting for the bleeding man to leave. I think he’s in the nurses’ station. He’s using the intercom. He just keeps saying the same poem over and over. He’s gonna find me. I’m not sure what he’s gonna do when he does. Listen… listen, he’s coming back on. I can’t make it out.

PETERS. The angels crawl from billions unseen; find freedom within the angels’ chain.

VINCENT: What the fuck does he want? It’s not even Dr. Peters anymore. He… he… it’s… it’s… more than the blood. It’s the way he walks. When I was hiding before, I could see his feet. They were making loud, heavy footsteps but they were… barely touching the ground. And it’s… this place is fucked up. I’m not sure if I’m getting out. I hope these tapes do. Oh Jesus… there’s a lockbox in his office. It’s weird; it’s… too new. It’s the only thing that, you walk in, it catches your eye because it still gleams black. And not that it’s old… it is just jet black.

PETERS. Toys in the box, now let’s play; finely phrased, make that stay.

VINCENT. What do you want? Get the fuck away from me! What do you want?

Shit… it’s been, uh, it looks like seven days… fuck, I can’t move my arm… um, I guess I’ve found out what he would do if he got me. Ah, time doesn’t make sense. I look out and it’s morning, and then I look back and it’s night. Ah, this cut is nasty… I’m in some sort of basement. There’s only one door, and the window’s open. Christ, I… I’m just tired. I just need to rest.

VINCENT. Look in the box to start again… a million lives, a million ends; look in the box to start again… a million lives, a million ends.

I should have never come to this place… oh God… oh God… somebody! Somebody, somebody now! Somebody, God, please! God help me! Bye, everybody. Why can nobody forgive me… they never returned. There’s no return. I should have never come. I should have never come. There’s nobody here. Oh my God… I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. Our father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day…

HABIT. What more do you see here?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License