On page 101 of House of Leaves, within the writings of Zampanò, there is an image of dots and lines depicting what we know to be the morse code signal for “S.O.S.” Heard around the house in the early hours of the morning, first by the children and then by Karen, it solidified their idea that something was awry. It had been seven, nearly eight days since the previous search party had ventured into the depths of the labyrinth, and crisis seemed imminent.
When explaining the dire-ness of exploration 4, Zampanò is compelled to scratch in the word “fuck” above “make love” (mentioned on page 99). This gives us a visual idea, through text, of how the situation may have felt beforehand; as opposed to meaning something in the context of his studies, Zampanò might have been alluding to how dreadful the situation was becoming. The pages following would only go to show what he meant.
After searching the house for the source of the noise, it is found that it could be on the other side of the living room wall. As they find this, Danielewski writes a visual representation of the knocks on the page:
“. . . - - - . . .”
This visual seems to be a changing point among the characters in The Navidson Record. Immediate, Will kicks into action, organization a rescue team of himself and Tom. Interestingly, as they point out, the scene is cut in a very distinct way; the imagery of “SOS” is represented by the editing. There are three short shots, three long shots, and three short shots again. This further cements the importance of the term SOS and the corresponding imagery.
The “SOS sequence comes to an end when Zampanò realizes that the cutting of the film was also an expression of Navidson’s distress. In the film, he states that Karen’s phone rings the times shortly then three times at a longer pace, which he sees to mean “SO?” (Page 103). This is a perfect way to end; it shows the monotony of waiting, the craziness of going to rescue the exploration team, and the dreadfulness of their situation as a whole.