When they finally got the box out of the river, he had to admit he was relieved it wasn’t heavy. Despite the sinister-looking black duct tape wrapped around it, there didn’t appear to be anything inside that might have resulted in a call to the police.
But when he did eventually get it open, he would never be able to unsee what lay inside.
John had been taking a walk along the river with a couple of friends, enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon.
They weren’t the only ones on the bank that day, so when a mysterious white box came bobbing along the river, a crowd soon gathered to work out what it was.
As he was having such a lazy day, John jumped at the chance to solve a mystery. There really was nothing more captivating to him than a mystery box.
But not wanting to get wet, he used the zoom function on his camera to get a closer look at the box, and what he saw only made the whole situation more intriguing.
Using his phone, John could see it was a cooler box. He wanted to go in after it, but before taking the plunge and getting wet, he decided to do a little more investigating.
In the distance, John spotted a couple of men out walking their dog and asked if they were missing a cool box.
The men claimed the box had nothing to do with them, but they quickly became as fascinated by what it could be as John and his friends.
In fact, they were so determined to know what was inside the floating box that one of the men – who was already wearing a bathing suit – offered to wade out and drag it ashore.
“What if it’s treasure?” John asked, filming the whole investigation on his phone.
The man waded out into the water, but what looked like a shallow stretch of the river quickly revealed itself to be quite a bit deeper. If the man was going to reach the box before it drifted downriver, he would have to swim and catch it.
John waited with bated breath as the man paddled out to the middle of the fast-flowing river. The box had gotten stuck on some rocks, but the water rushing over it threatened to dislodge it at any moment.
Finally, John’s new friend made it over to the box, just as it managed to slip free from the rocks and continue its journey – just out of the swimmer’s grasp.
With a last-second dive from the swimmer, the box was safely in his hands. But holding onto the cooler made it difficult to swim back, leaving them no closer to solving the mystery.
“Float it over!” John shouted, hoping that a good push would send the box over to them. The man steadied himself in the water and pushed as hard as he could.
“It’s like Christmas!” John exclaimed, excited that he would finally be unwrapping the box. When they had the cooler – and their helpful new friend – safely ashore, it was clear the box wasn’t very heavy.
The way the box had been sealed tight with duct tape made it look like someone was hoping to lose something sinister in the river.
Now they had the box on dry land and were in a position to peel off the tape and look inside, John suddenly realized they could be opening up a dangerous can of worms.
What if there was something illegal inside? Why would there be a cooler floating down the river if someone hadn’t been trying to get rid of something bad. They debated over whether they should even open it at all.
Suddenly, John realized he had seen the cool box before. He checked out the bottom of the box for the brand and sure enough, his suspicions were confirmed.
“What are you looking for?” the man asked John. He smiled as he realized they could find out what was inside the box without having to peel off all that tape.
“Has it got one of those hatches?” asked John, recognizing the box from his parents’ garage. They took one just like it on their camping trips when he was a kid. He remembered because he would often climb inside it and jump out at his sister until he got too big.
The men quickly peeled off the tape covering the suspected hatch and sure enough, it popped open with ease, but what they saw inside almost made them fall in the river.
“What the…” exclaimed the man who had fished the box out of the river. The hatch slammed shut as he stumbled back in shock.
Suddenly, John’s curiosity as to what was in the box reached fever pitch, but based on the man’s reaction, he was scared to open it. “What is it?”John demanded.
“A face…” stuttered the man. John froze as he watched the man moving as far away from the box as possible.
But they’d come this far, he had to find out what was in the box for himself. John gingerly approached the box and threw the hatch open.
Staring back at John, was a child’s doll. The curious cameraman had seen enough horror movies in his time to know there’s probably little else that could provoke such a huge shock.
Their reaction certainly attracted a lot of attention from other walkers out that day. But John felt it would be best for them to open it for themselves.
Wondering what all the commotion was about, a woman approached the box. John quickly snapped the hatch shut, and told her to look for herself.
The woman jumped back and cursed when she saw what was inside. “Who does that?” she said as she stormed off. But was there more to the box than met the eye?
“There’s a body in there!” the man who fished it out joked, enjoying the reaction of everyone looking inside at the doll.
But it suddenly occurred to John that there might be more to it. Who had put the doll in there in the first place? Was there something inside? He needed to take a closer look at the doll itself, but the horror movie fan in him really didn’t want to.
John picked up the doll and examined it closely, but there was nothing inside. The men continued to inspect the outside of the box but found no clues to explain what was going on.
So John did what anyone would do when you find a mystery that needs explaining: he uploaded his video to social media to see if anyone online could shine some light on it. But he never expected such a huge reaction.
John’s video quickly went viral on YouTube. The footage had racked up more than 11 million views and nearly 7,000 comments.
Fortunately, YouTube users were quick to comment suggestions as to why they found a child’s doll floating along the river in a taped up cooler box – and a few of them seemed like they might be onto something.
“That’s definitely a possessed doll someone was trying to get rid of,” said one commenter, clearly a fan of horror movies like “Annabelle” and “Child’s Play”.
But not everyone had a scary movie theory – some didn’t see the funny side at all, fearing that John and his friends had uncovered something that should have been left well alone.
“Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!” said one desperate viewer quoting “Monsters Inc.”, suggesting the box should have been left to float along the river until it was never seen again.
But there was one particular theory about how the cooler box ended up in the river that attracted a lot of support. Could they have solved the case?
“He just put a doll in a cooler then taped it and then, finally he put it out in a river and started recording,” said one of the more popular commenters who clearly subscribes to the idea that the simplest explanation is usually correct.
Did John put the box there himself? Or is there more to this case than has been revealed?