Phenomenon 2-FR: Numberation
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Phenomenon 2-FR, also called "Numberation", is a phenomenon that gives wanderers a feeling of linearity to The Backrooms as well as a feeling of height to the levels they visit. It presents the global environment as a succession of levels that can be mapped through several psychological sensations. An individual affected by the phenomenon will feel at what "height/depth" of The Backrooms he is located. This phenomenon is persistent, which means that this feeling of height will remain not only during the entire exploration of a level, but also while changing levels.

Standard case

When an individual affected by the phenomenon enters a numbered level, a sort of instinct, a strange feeling, will give them the assumed "height/depth" of the level. For example, an individual entering Terror Hotel from an elevator in Level 4 will feel that they are now on a higher level than the last visited, as if they had "climbed" higher in The Backrooms. When the Entry and Exit level are further apart in the numbering - for example after a noclip that would carry a wanderer from Level 94 to Level 1, the phenomenon is tied to a feeling of brief disorientation. This disorientation increases in length and severity with the "distance" between the entry and exit levels.

Unnumbered levels

In the case of unnumbered levels, a wanderer affected by the phenomenon that enters one will feel uneasy, as if they were outside of time and space itself. The individual will feel cut off from The Backrooms, as if taken apart. This feeling, however, remains harmless and does not prevent actions in the level in question (such as exploration). Nevertheless, it remains a nuisance that, although weak, can cause more undesirable effects in an untrained individual, such as feelings of panic or claustrophobia. The only exception in the case of unnumbered levels is that of negative levels. The feelings related to these are similar to those of normal levels, but with the feeling of being below most levels1 this time.

Special cases

Some levels provoke feelings in wanderers that are different from what might be expected with the above information.

Level 812 and Level 910

These two levels were considered in their time to both be Level 600 by the wanderers. This brought its share of conflicts related to the "real Level 600" between the two instances of the level by certain small groups of explorers. However, their numbering was changed due to more recent reports from exploration teams, as the nature of the Blue Channel was beginning to be better understood. It is therefore quite possible that wanderers affected by the phenomenon "felt" like they are in Level 600 in both instances. The M.E.G. has since modified these levels' designations for clarity. Now in most cases, affected wanderers currently perceive both levels as the other unnumbered levels. In addition to this, wanderers now have a strange feeling of connection between the two levels. Further research is needed to determine whether these two levels are indeed related.

Level 609 - "The Decay Zone"

Like the previous two levels, the Decay Zone was considered Level 232 for a long time due to numberation. Nevertheless, the level now appears to be self-destructing, and a wanderer affected by numberation who goes there would now perceive the same feelings of being setting apart from the Backrooms as the other unnumbered levels.

level "The End"

In this level, wanderers will all feel like they are in a kind of liminal space between The Backrooms and the Frontrooms. This is the only level where all wanderers seem to be affected by some form of numberation.

Case of Level 0

Numberation cannot be felt in this level, neither by newcomers nor by explorers who have already been affected by this phenomenon in other levels. For the time being, this is the only "numbered" level (thus excluding the unnumbered levels) that has a proven absence of this phenomenon.

Frequency of onset

As with most phenomena, it is difficult to give accurate statistics on the number of people affected. Indeed, wanderers do not necessarily talk about their thoughts and feelings about their environment in their logs, often in the desire to remain professional or to not appear as disheartened. Nevertheless, according to current information, it is possible to give several "profiles" of people as well as their responses to the phenomenon.

Case 1: Wanderers convinced by the linearity of The Backrooms

Individuals convinced of the linearity of The Backrooms are those who are most affected by the phenomenon. The reason is not known, but there are two theories. First, it is possible that this is related to a confirmation bias that is psychically amplified by the environment. Nevertheless, this idea is often undermined by the reports of multiple wanderers reaching the same conclusions despite not being linked to each other.
The second theory is that this feeling is real, and that it is indeed provoked by the height of the level. This could explain the logical links between the reports, but it should not be forgotten that even in the case of numberation, many wanderers who feel the phenomenon do not always agree on the numbers. The phenomenon appears gradually, affecting the wanderer in a level with weak feelings, giving only a vague impression of height and depth. Numberation then gradually increases in intensity, and in the later stages of the phenomenon it is possible to precisely sense a height and a number rather than a vague idea of the latter. Feelings related to unnumbered levels are also more intense.

Case 2: Wanderers not convinced by the linearity of The Backrooms

It is quite rare for wanderers who do not consider The Backrooms as linear to be affected by the phenomenon. It is possible that this point of view more easily reaches individuals who already adhere to a more Euclidean idea of levels. When an individual considers the Backrooms to be more chaotic in their structure, two results are possible:

  • The individual changes their opinion on the structure of their environment as a direct consequence of his new feeling.
  • The individual remains convinced that what they feels is not real. In this particular case, the wanderer will experience more intense than normal headaches, as well as, in some cases, hallucinations.

Case 3: Wanderers without an opinion on the linearity of The Backrooms

Wanderers without real conviction about the structure of the backrooms are also rarely affected by the phenomenon. The few individuals with this opinion generally adopt the idea inspired by the phenomenon and thus change their mind, based on their instinct to determine where they are in the Backrooms.

Contradictions and conflicts

Reverse Numberation

There are some cases where individuals reached by numberation perceive linearity in reverse. Concretely, this means that the notion of height and depth can be "reversed" between the wanderers feeling this phenomenon, which makes its interpretation more complicated. In some cases, negative levels can be interpreted as being above positive levels2. It is possible that this mental inversion of the levels is related to the different interpretations of The Backrooms for each wanderer before the phenomenon manifests in them. Although these cases of contradiction have no consequence on the database, it can be the source of conflicts between different wanderers convinced by their vision of The Backrooms caused by this phenomenon.

Differences in numberation

Nevertheless, the main problem of numberation is that wanderers who experience the phenomenon sometimes do so in different ways. Indeed, in addition to the case of reverse numberation mentioned above, it happens that, although quite rarely, several individuals perceive the same level at different "heights/depths". One of the best-known examples are the logs of two different people at two consecutive days about the level commonly called "Courtyard of Windows." Indeed, the first wanderer confirmed the number 881 for the classification "by instinct", because of the phenomenon. The next day, a second drifter invalidated the number given by the previous day’s member, adding that the level was "much lower", at Level 188. But this level had already been "discovered" and probably named by numberation too.

Following this incident, the M.E.G. decided to rarely rely on this phenomenon, in order to avoid the contradictions not only between the reports of the same Level, but also those of several Levels that might have been discovered and whose numbering would have been "felt". Nevertheless, because of the size of the organization and its associated database, it always happens that the numbering noted is due to this phenomenon.


It is currently very difficult to determine the origin of this phenomenon. Indeed, many features of numberation affirm or invalidate various theories.

The most widespread view is that this phenomenon is directly caused by The Backrooms by an as of yet unknown means. Indeed, there is a large number of reports or testimonies of different wanderers reporting the same structure of the Backrooms. It is therefore difficult to believe that this is an isolated phenomenon or the result of simple ramblings. On the other hand, there are also contradictory reports on the meaning or place of levels, as in the example presented above, which would mean that the phenomenon acts differently on each person according to their beliefs.

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