The internet is home to hundreds of strange, weird and mysterious websites. One of the most infamous and intriguing sites to appear on the web was the legendary MORTIS.COM.
The website was first discovered by a 4chan user who was curious about an unknown website that hosted terabytes of data on its server.
On it bleak black and white homepage was a simple login form asking for just a username / password login.
4chan users being 4chan users set about investing the site, and tried to determine its purpose. Quickly they established the domain was registered to a Thomas (Tom) Ling, who had also other strange and mysterious domains and websites registered under his name.
One of the weirdest websites beside the Mortis website, was called Cthulhu.net, which only had a single page upon which was written the words “dead but dreaming” in white on a black background, and nothing else. There were no other pages, no directions, no explanation, and nothing at all to click on.
In fact, over a dozen other websites were linked to mortis.com and Tom Ling. Another of his websites just had a white chess piece and nothing else.
As for mortis.com Usenet files were discovered to be linked back to the website, that were apparently encrypted with password protection and had weird titles. Many of the file sizes were huge with one of the biggest being 39gb in size. This obviously got 4chan users excited, and got them wondering just what this website was hiding.
As interest in the site rose, It was reported that Thomas Ling apparently came out and said that the site was just for his wedding photos and nothing more. As expected, all this did was prompt people to work even harder to get through the login page and discover for themselves what was really going on. People also found other very bizarre connections, such as the site being linked to empty vacant lots and warehouses and people who were listed as having something to do with the site were all deceased.
This fueled speculation that this site was a front for something much more sinister.
The website was also, from various accounts from people who tried to hack in, very difficult to get past the login screen and that the website was very well protected.
For a number of months both reddit and 4chan followed various leads – these included links to a dentist service, a link to a lawyer, and possibly proof mortis.com was used as some kind of movie/TV sharing site. This would explain the large files and some of the file names seemed to be similar to new movie releases. The site also had a media player embedded within its code, again leading to speculation the site was being used to host movies.
Finally it was discovered that Ling lived in Sydney, Australia, was a digital media designer, who owned a number of websites, stored on a server in Philadelphia, with connections to a bed and breakfast in a remote part of Washington state, a security company and what looked like a video sharing group on Usenet.
Except – it was not true ! Because it soon transpired that Thomas Ling, in Australia was not the Thomas Ling from Mortis.com who was traced to an address that was an empty lot, and nothing more.
Then it was claimed by a 4chan user that mortis.com was just some weird website that had a user/password thing to enter. They claimed they had found out the website was made in 1997~ and had a pic of a guild banner from World of Warcraft…which was made in 2003+, not ’97. The guild members wouldnt talk about it, they wouldnt say anything. He also claimed, someone apparently got past the first login page and found another user/password was needed to go further.
So yes, it was weird, but apparently the entire site was used for gaming guilds since the late 90s, and sometime in the late 2000’s was changed to a film hosting site.
It also discovered Thomas Ling had registered domains for his family.