Everyone knows Chuck E. Cheese, but have you heard of Rat Aleister’s? Not many people have, and for good reason. It gained a bit of a cult following online a couple months ago, where people had more fun speculating and sharing rumors than actually taking any sort of action against it.
Located at the corner of some lonely street in Virginia City, Nevada, you would find a billboard with the name of the fabled location. It looked about as run down on the outside as everything else around it, so you wouldn’t immediately pin it as a children’s place. The windows were made so that you could hardly see anything inside apart from a bunch of blurred colors moving about.
Once you pull into the small parking space made for one, you’ll enter the dimly lit canopy and be greeted by the employees in blue, followed by Rat Aleister himself… They occasionally referred to him as Ally, but the internet community liked to call him Ratty since it seemed a better fit. Ratty was a bit unnerving to be around, partially due to how he looked. His head sported a passing resemblance to the original Chuck E. suit, minus the hat, with that blank stare and open mouth smile of his. The outfit of the rat consisted of white cartoon gloves, overalls, his bare furry feet, and an unusual dark cape covered with stars on the inner pattern.
What was most unusual, though, was his color; He was greyscaled, essentially, nothing but greys and whites. There’s rumors that he’d existed long before color TV and this was to make him look just like he did on local television, but no one has ever been able to prove that as far as I know. What I found most disturbing about him, myself, was just how skinny he was. It seemed like a body suit with fur glued to it. On colder days, Ratty would be outside on the street corner egging people on to enter and have fun, which is mainly how any photos of him came about. Cameras would’ve been too suspicious inside so a lot of what’s known about the place is from descriptions.
Now, with Ratty out of the way, you may be wondering what awaits you inside – Pizza, arcade games, ball pits? Well, no. You see, this is as cheap as it can get. They actually did have a ball pit, but it’s about as small as you can make them, about five by ten feet in length like a small pool. As for games, they had things like a dart board with unusually sharp darts for kids. There was also a small hoop with a basketball, which is hardly playable in the small building. A white board with markers provides probably the most entertainment as long as there’s no profanity, they frown upon that. There’s a TV that constantly fills the room with the sound of your usual all-cartoon channels, and lastly a computer that they advertise as offering plenty of digital entertainment.
When you’re playing for points, a phrase they like to frequently use, the employees are there to monitor your progress and give you tickets that you’re supposed to trade in the back room for prizes. Sounds like lot of competition for Chuck E., doesn’t it? Yeah, it sucks. There’s probably more entertaining rats in the alley.
No one knows why a place this shitty is even around. Of course, the obvious one comes up a lot; This is probably some poor attempt by a peodphile to lure kids in to do god knows what, which is evidenced by some reports that Ratty can get a little too close for comfort. To get your attention, he or the other employees are known to quickly grab onto both of your shoulders and greet you in a cartoonishly peppy voice, proudly exclaiming things like “Are you having fun?” – Not to mention, Ratty has… at least according to those with this theory… touched the bottoms of various kids. Keep in mind that anyone who cites this claim has never experienced it first hand, it’s just some bullshit story that keeps getting brought up and no one knows the source. Though I don’t entirely dismiss it…
I made my own personal visit to Ratty’s about a week ago. I hadn’t found the time to write this experience down due to work kicking my ass, but… now I feel is a good time to share.
I pulled up and everything was as people described to me. Dimly lit, happy employees, and the rat himself even greeted me. It was on par with a waiting room for some office building, probably big enough to hold a party. But as you’d expect, not exactly the most ideal place for fun and games. When I entered, there were a couple of kids who I figured were dropped off by their obviously uninitiated parents. One of them, a blonde little boy, had been guided into a dark back room with an employee, so it was just me and the Asian kid.
Ratty seemed a little… well, it’s hard to say. It seemed like he was forcing his joy. People liked to joke that he was Krusty the Clown as a rat, but even Krusty was a bit peppy when he needed to be. Ratty was sitting at the couch near the entrance, staring at the wall ahead of him. Eventually I cracked and popped the question when there was silence in the room.
“So, uh, Mister… Aleister,” I started, initially avoiding the internet pet name he’d received, “How’re you feeling today?”
“They don’t like me here anymore.” Ratty replied blankly. His head lowered slightly.
I looked back to the one kid who’d seemed to be looking over at us but quickly turned back to his doodling once I looked at him. He was just drawing what looked like a dog playing baseball. I looked to Ratty, who continued to stare at the wall. I decided to stick around, making the kid didn’t get too freaked out by this during his stay and hoping that the bouncy personality this place was known for would show itself eventually. As is, this was a bit depressing.
The kid and I had our own competition with the darts and I taught him how to aim, which led to him getting most of the tickets… although I did let him win a number of times, just to help keep him smiling. I gave him all of mine since, hell, I had no reason to think there’d be worthwhile prizes in a place like this, but they’d probably be enough for the kids. The computer that supposedly offered plenty of entertainment was a computer without internet connection, so all it had were a few pre-installed PC games, some sort of program that spouts random trivia, and your usual PC utilities like MS Paint readily displayed on the desktop.
A rainbow colored desktop wallpaper encouraged players to let their creativity run wild, and there were a bunch of images and text documents that were presumably made by other kids – There’s always the one guy who shares the occasional gory image in our online group, claiming it came from this PC, but I had no intention of giving the kid a scare with my morbid curiosity. I just taught him how to use the Paint program and let him have his way with it. He seemed pretty creative.
I eventually got a text from my sister asking where I was. It was then I took notice that 45 minutes had passed since I’d arrived, and from what little I could see out the window, sunset was coming. I made the biggest mistake by not thinking about what could happen to the kid. I said my goodbye and gave him the last of my tickets, I smiled as he went over to one of the employees asking to get a prize. As he was being guided to the room, I turned my attention to the entrance, where Ratty was now laying on that couch like a passed out drunk.
“Have a good one, Ratty.” I let slip out as I left the building.
I got into my car and all seemed well, but when I gave myself one more glance at the entrance, I noticed the door had been cracked open and Ratty was standing there staring out to me. I nervously gave him a final wave and got the hell out of there. I guess he must’ve been somewhat aware of his internet reputation if he had some reaction to the nickname.
And that was it, I went on about my night and life carried on as usual. I shared some bits of the experience I could immediately remember with the Ratty community, and while some debated about bits of it, like my story, it seemed clear what was happening; I I must’ve come in a bit late on the whole craze, because things looked to be dying down. Maybe it was the amount of shaming he got from the internet community that did it, or maybe it was starting to sink in that this business was failed from the start. For all I knew, I’d end up being their last customer.
I said before that now was a good time to share my experience, and there’s a reason for why.
I work at a convenience store a bit of a drive from where Aleister’s was. There was an Asian woman who came into our store the morning after I’d gone to that place. She was in tears, asking if we’d seen her son or his blonde little friend. Apparently she’d dropped them off at some daycare nearby yesterday morning, and they were missing when she came back for them. The people working there had no idea where they could’ve gone. She suspected kidnapping.
I can’t say for certain that the connection is there, but… that was a blonde boy and Asian boy in Rat Aleister’s. And the last time I saw them was when they entered the prize room. This is a bit alarming because as I went over what happened, I never recall seeing the one kid leave the room in that hour, and the other kid went in there as I left. No one in the internet community has had the patience or tolerance to stick around long enough to enter that room themselves, so god only knows what happens back there…
I regrettably told the woman what I’d seen and where. When asked what I was doing at such a godforsaken place, I lied and said that I was suspicious after hearing some rumors about it. Within only a couple of days, the place had been cleared out by the police and any employee they could find have been taken in for questioning. It seemed like Ratty could be put behind bars.
But I feel like there’s still some unfinished business. You see, any employee they could find was arrested, but none of them seemed to be the one in the Ratty costume, who is presumably the founder of this sick place. What’s worse is that just today, someone online has claimed to spot a rat costume in grey clothing and cape in Sunnyside, Washington, just about on the other side of the US. Some think it’s a Ratty fanatic, but I can’t take any chances.
It’s possible that Rat Aleister’s Pen may be relocating, and I fear for the children who wander into his place unaware of what they’re getting themselves into. I know that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, but… just have some common sense. Don’t let your children near a place like Rat Aleister’s.