If you’re here, you either love creepy stuff or your tween is about to have a Halloween party and wants scary games to play (they’re so over the toddler games you keep pushing on them *insert major eye roll here*). Do not fear — well, not yet anyway — because we raked the internet to find the absolute best options for scary, unsettling, and downright haunted games that you can DIY this Halloween.
This collection is a mix of classic slumber party scares and frightening folklore-linked conjurings. As a grown-up, you probably already know that the more you believe in the game, the scarier it is to play. In other words, if you’re the queen of hype, be prepared to pee your pants. Whatever your reasoning behind dabbling into the occult, just remember: None of this shit is real! … Or is it?
Just writing about this game gave us nightmares. It involves riding an empty elevator in a specific sequence of floors and it is said it will open up to an alternate universe where forces will try to trap you and keep you from going back to your world. Yeah, it’s probably a crock of bull but….who knows? Play at your own risk!
2. Sara Sarita
This is a silly game to play with a friend and two coins. Sit facing each other, each of you with a coin in your hand. Ask together, “Sara Sarita may we join your game?” Then toss your coins. If you both get heads, it’s a yes. Two tails means “no.” If you get opposite sides, it’s a “maybe” and you’ll need to ask, again. Once she agrees to let you play, you can ask Sara Sarita any question you have. When you’re done playing, you’ll need to exit the game and flip your coins, again.
Admittedly, we’ve never played this game. Honestly, we probably never will. If you’re into having the bejesus scared out of you, though, Concentration is definitely a fun game to play with a group.
4. Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary is a fairly classic sleepover game. If you somehow missed out on the “fun,” though, here’s how you play. Stand in a pitch dark bathroom facing the mirror and call Bloody Mary’s name three times. If it works, you might see her face. Depending on what she thinks of you, she could scratch at you or possibly even pull you through the mirror into her world. Fun.
5. Light As A Feather
Another simple, silly but kind of scary game most teens play at slumber parties.
This one is only creepy because you get to learn about just how twisted your friends are. While one person lays on the ground face down, one person should be “the speaker” and describe in detail how you were murdered and filled with sand. They should go into as much detail as they can muster while they gently rub your legs and arms. When you stand up, you’ll feel like your body is full of sand… whatever that means.
7. Devil Face
Go into your bathroom right before midnight and stand in front of the mirror. Turn off the lights and close your eyes. When the clock strikes midnight, open your eyes and you should see the Devil in the mirror.
This Japanese fortune-telling game has a scary reputation for past games going awry. If you’re still up for playing, we urge you to remember that no one can actually predict the future.
9. Red Book
It turns out that many cultures look for ways to see into the future. You’ll need a red book and a red candle to play this Mexican fortune-telling game.
10. Ouija Board
Here’s the thing to know about a Ouija board: Once you buy it, you’re stuck with it. But, it can be a lot of fun to play with some “fearless” teens. Started as a parlor game in the late 1800s, the game was first advertised as a magical device that answered your most burning questions “about the past, present, and future with marvelous accuracy.” It promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a connection “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Oh, and it originally cost a whopping $1.50!
Whether you believe in its other-worldly powers or not, remember, it only truly works if no one moves the planchette.
11. The Midnight Game
If you want to spend three hours and thirty-three minutes in utter terror, The Midnight Game is the way to go. The gist is this: You follow a set of instructions at midnight to awaken a murderous “Midnight Man.” He’ll then chase you around your dark house until 3:33 a.m. Annnnnd, we’re out!
12. Fortune Telling
Whether you do it by palm reading or break out the Tarot cards, just because these are common modes of telling the future (if you believe in such things, that is) that doesn’t mean it’s still not scary. Obviously, someone among the group should know how to read palms so they don’t mix up your lifeline with that paper cut you’re currently sporting.
Tracing as far back as 15th century Europe, early versions of tarot cards were called tarocchini in Italy, tarot in France, and Königrufenwere in Austria, and they weren’t quite used the way we think of the cards now. In fact, the earliest reference of tarot cards being used as a fortune-telling device was in the 1750s, with the Tarocco Bolognese, a 62-card deck found in Bologna.
13. The Answer Man
Let it be said that we’re big fans of any scary games that involve having other people around. There’s something to be said for safety in numbers! As a bonus, this game’s pretty simple. You need a group of 10 people (including you) standing in a circle with phones in hand. Everyone gets the number of the person to their left and enters it into their phone. Then, at the same time, everyone hits send. Most people will come up with a busy signal… but the hope (fear?!) is that someone will get the Answer Man. You can ask him questions, but he gets to ask you one for every question you ask. And if he doesn’t like your answer? Bad things, friend.
14. Three Kings
This is a solitary game… or is it? Three Kings is said to transport players into another dimension and offer clarity on their past and present. Some players claim to have had lucid conversations with themselves. That’s not creepy at all.
Here’s how to play: Set up two mirrors across each other and sit in a chair (the throne) between the two, making sure not to look in the mirrors. The player should hold a lit candle in their hand but make sure not to look at the flame or let it go out. The player represents the King, and the other mirrors represent the Queen and Fool, without knowing which is which. The ritual can begin at exactly 3:30 a.m., and the player can begin asking questions into the darkness. If all goes right, there will be an answer from one of the mirrors, but since one is the Fool and the other the Queen, players must take answers with a grain of salt.
15. The Corner Game
You’re going to need four people for this game. Turn off all the lights and each person stands in a corner of the room. All the players should do a few actions with their bodies, and legend has it that moving in the corners of a dark room can draw demons out of the ceiling. You may even see something shift in the dark! It’s up to you and your friends to figure out whether it’s your collective paranoia or poltergeists….
The Scariest Video Games to Play
If video gaming is more your speed, fear not — er, OK, fear a lot. But rest assured that there are plenty of options for gamers who want to send a chill up their spine. The following video games are touted as the most terrifying and unsettling out there (ranging from kinda creepy to downright disturbing):
- Doki Doki Literature Club!
- Resident Evil 2
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Five Nights at Freddy’s
- Alien: Isolation
- Dead Rising
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
- The Evil Within
- Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
- Silent Hill
- Silent Hill 2
- Eternal Darkness
- The Last of Us
- Dead Space
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent