As any fan no doubt knows by now, 13 Reasons Why was a book before it became a Selena Gomez-produced Netflix series. Jay Asher's novel of the same name debuted in 2007, and with it came a viral campaign to promote the book. Now that the show is currently the most talked about series ever on the streaming platform, Cosmopolitan has uncovered that original ad campaign. And boy, is it creepy.
Asher's original novel played out a little differently than the TV series. In the book — unlike the TV series — Clay listens to Hannah's tapes all in one night. The other students, who play an integral part in the Netflix show, aren't shown in the present. Hannah's words are, therefore, a huge part of the novel — which is why, when promoting the book, it was vital to incorporate her words as much as possible.
According to The New York Times, the book's publisher, Razorbill, had an advertising agency create a YouTube channel as both an advertisement for and a continuation of the novel. (Consider it an "extended universe," if you will.) The videos are hosted under the channel Hannahsfriend13, and include all of the tapes from the novel as well as some additional content like Hannah's poem. However, it's side 14 that is the most chilling — not to mention downright threatening.
A male voice states:
"Hannah, I'm sorry I couldn't have done something when it mattered. And the rest of you? Your little jokes? The rumors that are no big deal? The mistakes you blame on a couple beers? It all matters. Everything. It affects everything. There are consequences for others, for you, forever. And there's more on these tapes. There's a lot more that I could share. So, once again, the choice is yours."
While we don't know who the voice belongs to, there are two possibilities that fans on YouTube believe is behind the voice: Tony or Clay. While Tony (played by Christian Navarro on the Netflix show) was the keeper of the tapes in the novel, some argue that he's not as emotionally connected to Hannah as Clay (Dylan Minnette on the series).
However, whoever's voice it's supposed to be — and whoever Hannah's "friend" is — one thing's for sure: this is one seriously creepy video campaign that made the already dark material way, way darker.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.