The Red Door, Yellow Door is a creepy game for sleepovers, parties, and the occasional weird funeral (hey, it’s your life).
Like all “Cursed Games,” the gist of the game is a psychological mind trick meant to frighten the target and/or manipulate their mind into believing something that isn’t true.
A Word of Caution
My joking aside, I feel I should issue a warning.
Red Door, Yellow Door is a game that has reportedly altered people’s states of consciousness after playing it.
Some people became depressed after what they witnessed in their own minds.
Some became so disturbed by the game that they never recovered.
Others fell into comas and never awoke.
That said, many shrug Red Door, Yellow Door off as a simple meditative practice meant to scare people by guiding them through what is essentially lucid dreaming.
But no one really knows what dreams are.
Even to this date, there is some debate regarding whether or not dreams are just our brains sending out jumbled information we collected during the day, messages from our ancestors, or an actual alternate dimension that our souls go to when we dream.
I mean, when you play this game, you are playing with your mind.
Some people have played and fallen into comas that they never woke up from (allegedly).
So tread carefully, grasshoppa’.
To further curl the little hairs on the back of your neck, here are some things to keep in mind when playing the game (because, yes, that’s how dangerous it is to play with hypnosis and potentially enter another dimension full of dark entities).
- Do not interact with any “person” or entity you encounter while in the trance state. There is especial emphasis on avoiding “men in suits” as they are believed to be dangerous entities that can actually harm you.
- Clocks are evil and should be fled from while screaming.
- Always trust your intuition (your heart/gut) and wake immediately if there is something happening that you don’t feel right about.
- If the game feels like it’s taking a dark turn, cut it short immediately. If you die in the game, you die in real life.
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The Darkest Halls of the Mind
The aim and goal of Red Door, Yellow Door is to take the target of the game through the darkest corners of their mind.
For this reason, the game is also known as Doors of the Mind or Black Door, White Door. I like Black Door, White Door the best.
It reminds me of that spooky Alice in Wonderland PC game.
You know, the one where Alice is wearing a straitjacket in an asylum and Wonderland is just a hallucination brought on by her pills? Anyway . . .
There are actually two ways to play Red Door, Yellow Door.
The first way?
With two people.
The second way? Alone. Yup. You can play this game alone!
And honestly, playing alone will make it even scarier, if you like running through your empty house and locking all the doors the on edge of a nervous breakdown.
Hey, no shaming. (But on a more serious note: don’t. Don’t play this game alone!)
Here’s how you play the game (the right way) with two people.
How to Play
When you play Red Door, Yellow Door with two people, one person is the Guide and the other is the Subject.
If you want to involve other people, they can only be spectators.
There’s . . . really nothing else for extra people to do.
So make sure you have drinks and chips out, at least. Maybe some scary music in the background.
Step 1: The Guide will sit on the floor, legs crossed. They should have a pillow in their lap. The Subject will lie down with their head on the pillow in the Guide’s lap (yeah, it sounds weird but stay with me).
Step 2: The Subject will raise their hands in the air (yeah, getting weirder and into dark ritual area, huh? Just need some chanting and candles . . .) The Subject has to keep their eyes closed for the entire game. Yup. The entire game!
Step 3: The Guide will massage the Subject’s temples while chanting “Red Door, Yellow Door, any other color door.” (See? Now we just need candles.) The chant must be spoken over and over. If there are spectators, they should chant. (So I guess they can participate, a little.)
Step 4: The Subject should start slipping into a trance-like state. Eventually, they will see a room in front of them with doors. When this happens, the Subject should lower their arms. This means the chanting should stop. Now the game can begin (*scary flourish of music*).
Step 5: The Guide will then ask some questions. The point is to get the Subject to describe their surroundings so that everyone can go on the “journey” with them. The Guide will also start telling the Subject to open doors. Whenever the Guide asks a question, the Subject should answer it.
Here are some examples of questions the Guide can ask:
“Describe the room you’re standing in.”
“What color are the doors?”
“How do you feel about X color door?”
“Open X color door.”
“Are you wearing pants?” (That one’s a joke but I’d totally ask it . . .)
Rules and Restrictions
Of course, to make the game even scarier, you can instill some rules and restrictions.
One example would be that the Subject should avoid all people wearing black because they are dangerous.
This will make the Subject paranoid about people wearing black.
Their mind will in turn manifest people in black clothes in every room, and they will be terrified, looking for ways to escape through the doors.
You could pull this trick with any clothing item, really.
Just make sure it’s something spooky.
You won’t get the same effect if you tell someone to avoid all the people with pink poodles.
If anything, that will put the Subject (and the spectators) in a humorous mood, and we don’t want that!
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Serious Rules to Observe
While you can give the Subject rules to make the game even more frightening and amusing, I’ve mentioned before that there are real rules that should be observed, such as avoiding men in suits and rooms with clocks.
Allow me to elaborate on that.
Men in Suits: Avoiding the men in suits is a frequently given warning to people who wish to play Red Door, Yellow Door because they have appeared many times in the experiences of several players.
The man in the suit is present in the darkest recesses of the mind and always behaves as the “shadow form” of the Subject, a manifestation of everything they hate and fear.
The man in the suit is basically the dark side of a person that they reject. Encountering him is traumatizing.
Most people who do have seizures or wake up crying.
The Old Lady: There is little information on the “old lady,” largely because she appears after the man in the suit, an encounter most people don’t survive anyhow.
It could be that she represents the Subject’s fear of old age, sickness, and death.
Rooms Full of Clocks: The terrible thing about the room full of clocks is that you can randomly stumble into it and then get stuck there.
And by “stuck” I mean seriously, legitimately stuck. You will fall into a coma and won’t be able to wake up from the game.
Other (Serious) Rules:
- You will encounter strange people aside from the men in suits. If they wave at you, don’t wave back. They are unknown entities and may try to harm you.
- Rooms with single clocks are fine (no idea why). Rooms with a lot of clocks should be avoided immediately.
- Avoid stairs at all cost, but if you insist on climbing stairs, always go up and avoid going down. Going down could mean becoming trapped on a never-ending staircase.
- Light colors are safe; dark colors are evil. Avoid dark rooms and doors.
- Don’t open random doors. Pay attention to how you feel about each door first.
Ending the Game
If anything should go wrong (and it’s likely), keep in mind that the game can be ended at any time by simply shaking the Subject awake.
You may have to shake them as if you were trying to get change, but they will thank you when they aren’t devoured by a man in a suit or trapped for eternity in a coma because a clock room warped their brain.
Still up for this? I hope not, but if you are, here’s hoping you survive!