The Magnus Archives Wikia
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ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.


The Magnus Institute is an academic institution dedicated to researching the esoteric and paranormal. They are not - and they would like to make this clear - paranormal investigators; they are researchers dedicated to revealing knowledge of the unknown. Nevertheless, there are many mysteries about the Institute itself. It was established by Jonah Magnus in 1818,[1] and is currently missing its Head.

The Institute is associated with the Entity known as The Eye. It is also patronised by other groups such as the Lukas Family.[2][3]

In 1999, many of the archived statements were leaked to the press, contributing to the Institute's negative reputation.[4]

The Institute has two sister institutes; the Pu Songling Research Centre in China, and the Usher Foundation in America, and was preceded as a center for The Eye by the Serapeum of Alexandria.

Building and History

Before 1841, the Institute was located in Edinburgh.[5]

At some point after 1841, Jonah Magnus moved the Institute to its current location in Chelsea, London,[6] near the Thames Embankment. It is a small building, old, and pillared,[7] with at least three floors[8] and the Archives in the basement.[9] It has a café or canteen.[10] The Institute is connected to the tunnels that were formerly below Millbank Prison. These tunnels are concealed behind trap doors and walls that range from stone to plasterboard.

The Institute possesses a well-organized library of books on the supernatural. The Institute also possesses a department called Artifact Storage, which houses the various strange and dangerous items collected from statement givers and other circumstances. Sasha originally worked in Artifact Storage, but she found the work unpleasant and terrifying and transferred after only three months.[11]

The Archives is a collection of statements on the supernatural taken (and researched when possible) at the Institute. It is, at present, horrendously disorganized due to the (in)action of Gertrude Robinson, the previous Head Archivist. At present, Jonathan Sims is the Head Archivist of the Magnus Institute. The Archives are kept in sealed, climate-controlled rooms to preserve the records.

Following a request by Jonathan Sims, Elias had a CO2 fire extinguisher system installed throughout the building.

Motto

Audio. Opperior. Vigilo." is the motto on the crest of the Magnus Institute, which roughly translates to "I listen. I watch. I wait."

Policy, Procedure and Methods

The Magnus Institute doesn't label itself as an organization of "paranormal investigators", rather defining itself as an organization of researchers and scholars. The criteria for an individual to meet to give their statement to the Institute is laid out clearly:

"Any supernatural or unexplainable experience or encounter occurring within the realms of apparent reality; no out-of-body experiences, visions, hallucinations, or dreams."

People who have experience with seemingly supernatural occurrences can schedule appointments to give their statements, previously in written form and increasingly using audio/visual recording media. According to Jonathan Sims, the Research Department[12] investigates statements first, with the Archivist reviewing after the fact and determining necessary follow-up, usually relying on Assistants and other members of the institute to check official records and attempt to contact the people mentioned in statements, and occasionally visiting the sites mentioned in said statements. However, since uncovering the statement of Antonio Blake, the Archivist is given access to all statements after they're made. The statements are given case numbers taken from the last three numbers of the year it was made in, followed by the day, then the month, thus the statement of MAG 1: Angler Fish is #0122204, having been recorded April 22nd, 2012. There is no clear system for statements that occur twice on the same date.[13]

The Institute has a variety of classifications statements can be placed under. As detailed in MAG 43: Section 31, statements marked "Internal Use Only" can't be referenced or requested by external agencies or authorities, including the police. This is due to the Institute's strict Non-Disclosure Agreement policy. This is used for information pertaining to sensitive information.

It was discovered that in a number of cases, digital recording devices fail to record statements, but analogue recording such as cassettes still function. It's believed that in cases where digital media fails, an actual supernatural event has occurred.[14] The process of researching and recording statements typically takes a week, and if the statement is supernatural in nature, it can be draining on anyone attempting to make a recording.[15] Melanie King reported that after making a statement she fell asleep for about twenty hours.[16]

While the entire institute is under the power of The Eye, the Archives department is most strongly affected. As such, those who work in the Archives are unable to quit or be fired, and any attempt to leave one's job results in sickness and possible death. The other departments are not under these restrictions and it's possible to quit them or be transferred to other departments. Generally the Archives is seen as "weird" by most employees and most leave the people there alone.[17]

Despite its supernatural affiliation, to most the Institute is a normal, if weird and unsettling, location in London. It's library is open to the public for research and is often used by students for research into the paranormal. The administrator Elias has regular meetings with the Library staff Tuesdays over the lunch hour,[18] and works on scheduling on Wednesdays.[19] In addition, the institute retains contracts to various government and law enforcement organizations,[20] likely called on when a case has a supernatural element. This is likely part of the source of Elias' contacts and influence with law enforcement, in addition to his other powers.

Personnel

Like many other academic organizations, the Institute has several departments. The Institute has a staff of approximately 80-100 people.[21] Current and former employees of the Magnus Institute are listed below by department, and further categorized by employment status when needed:

Administration

Archives

Archivists

Assistants

Other Departments

  • Rosie Zampano - Administrator
  • Sonja - Artefact Storage[31]
  • Diana - Library, "runs the place"[32]
  • Hannah - Library[33]
  • Tom - Library[34]
  • David - Research[35][36]
  • Elsa von Closen - Former employee, Research[37]

True Purpose

Watcher's Crown

The Institute was moved from Edinburgh to London and constructed over the remains of Millbank Prison after 1867, after Jonah Magnus attempted the ritual The Watcher's Crown with the complex's central Panopticon and the prisoners in the surrounding cells fueling it. After the ritual's partial failure and the prison's destruction Magnus moved the Institute over the ruins, with the Panopticon serving as the resting place for his body, while he transferred his mind to subsequent heads of the Institute.

After Gertrude posited that no ritual could summon a single Entity separate from the others, Magnus resolved to summon all of them at once, manipulating events so the current Archivist would be marked by each Entity, serving as the linchpin for a new ritual. After killing Gertrude to prevent her destroying his body, Magnus set his focus on a new Archivist and found a perfect candidate in Jonathan Sims who had already been marked by The Web. Over his tenure as Head Archivist Magnus exposed John to each of the Fears, allowing them to mark him in some way, even if only from being in their proximity.

After The Change

After Magnus' plan succeeded and the Entities seized the world for themselves, the Institute transformed into a massive tower resembling the Panopticon and covered in one-way mirrors. The base of the tower still sat above the tunnels of Millbank Prison and was guarded by creatures similar to the former Archivists seen in MAG 53: Crusader, and at the top Magnus was joined with The Eye and observed all the horrors of the world in a dreamlike state, hovering above the floor, while his secretary Rosie served as his liaison with the outside.

Jonathan Sims, together with his allies, enacted a plan to kill Elias and banish all the Entities to another world in an attempt to save their own. To this end, Sims knocked Elias out of his dream state by telling The Eye to release him, and beat Elias to death, and Sims briefly became The Eye's avatar, learning the Fears' history as part of a final statement. Following this, the gas main under the building was destroyed and the tower collapsed as the Fears are pulled through The Gap in Reality by the combined power of all the recorded statements, leaving only ruins and a single running tape recorder.

Trivia

  • MAG 33: Boatswain's Call features the names of fans and Patreon supporters Josh Cole and Samantha Emery in cameos as students who discover inconsistencies in statements. Both listeners had found errors in past episodes and their names were included as tributes.
  • According to MAG 55: Pest Control the Research Department gets flooded with reports and statements around Halloween. Most statements are false but the sheer volume often necessitates calling in help to sort them out, such as the Archives.
  • The Institute and its affiliates are all named after notable horror stories and authors:
    • Martin Blackwood is a reference to horror and fantasy author Algernon Blackwood.
    • Tim Stoker is a reference to Bram Stoker, most famous for writing Dracula.
    • Michael Shelley is named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
    • Melanie King is named for prolific horror author Stephen King.
    • Sarah Carpenter is likely named for horror filmmaker John Carpenter, best known for films They Live, and The Thing.
    • Georgie Barker is likely named for novelist and filmmaker Clive Barker, best known for the Hellraiser series.
    • The Pu Songling Research Centre is named for Pu Songling, a Qing dynasty author of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (聊齋誌異), a collection of nearly five-hundred supernatural tales.
    • The Usher Foundation is named for the short story The Fall of the House of Usher, by famous American horror author Edgar Allan Poe
      • The Institute shares many features in common with the House of Usher. Both are old buildings inhabited by twisted individuals and home to dark, supernatural events, and both collapse killing their eponymous inhabitants by the end.

References

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