Who doesn’t love scaring the crap out of their friends with a good old-fashioned spooky game? If that person is you (you rascal, you) then you’re in the right place, because I’m going to share with you some scary games to play with your friends at sleepovers!
Sandman is a game where one person is manipulated into an immobile state. The game is called “Sandman” because the person is made to believe, through the telling of a dark tale, that their body is heavy as sand, leaving them unable to rise from the floor. It’s kind of like gluing your teacher’s butt to a chair but with extra steps.
Red Door, Yellow Door is considered one of the most dangerous Cursed Games out there. This is largely due to the fact that it is a game that quite literally messes with your mind. One person is put into a trance and sent through the darkest corners of their mind, where they meet the untold horrors of their subconscious. Reportedly, some people have fallen into comas from the game and never woken up. But you’re adventurous, right? You’re not going to let the threat of a measly coma get to you!
Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board is one of the tamer Cursed Games on the list. It doesn’t involve altering your mind, but there is some debate as to whether or not a strange entity becomes involved in the game. The object of the game is to make one person float by chanting “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” but the chanting doesn’t suddenly give the players telekinesis. It’s believed that a spirit is welcomed through the chant to assist with causing the chosen person to float.
4. Concentrate Game
Concentrate is a game that is supposed to allow a person to see how they die. Nothing spookier than that, right? Especially if you die by falling from a Ferris wheel or something. Can we say Final Destination?
5. Red Book Game
Not to be a complete and total nerd (as if I could help it) but this game always reminded me of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In “Chamber of Secrets,” Ginny Weasley finds a diary that is possessed by the sixteen-year-old spirit of Lord Voldemort, and making “friends” with the spirit unleashes horror on the school. This game is like that . . . minus the giant snake.
6. Three Kings Game
Three Kings is basically a game where you summon three demons into three chairs and then pester them. I wish I was joking but sadly . . . I am not. You summon these three demons for the purpose of . . . asking them random questions. Because I guess Alexa isn’t a thing. If you want an easy way to annoy and piss off demon spirits, this is it.
7. Bloody Mary
Ah, yes. This one is a classic. You don’t even need other people to play this game. Just chant “Bloody Mary” while gazing into a mirror. Bring a change of shorts.
Candyman is Bloody Mary with extra steps. Instead of just chanting “Candyman” for eternity (the way you would chant “Bloody Mary”), you just say “Candyman” five times while in the dark. You’ll meet a nasty end if you don’t turn the light on in time.
9. Ouija Board
Another classic from before the era of TikTok and Instagram. The Ouija board was an old board game manufactured by the (sadly now non-existent) Toys-R-Us. It was basically a board game that was used to talk to spirits. Many scoff at the idea of the game actually working, but just as many have gruesome stories of spirit possession and making contact with ghosts after having used the Ouija board. You decide if it’s worth it. I’ll be over here, eating Doritos and minding my business, like a good living person.
10. Ghost Game
Ghost is like Ouija board without Ouija board. In place of the board, you would use a deck of cards (not even tarot cards, just plain playing cards), and you would need some friends to ask questions of the dead. Ideally, find a dark location and close all the curtains. Light the obligatory candles and then start asking questions. The cards you pull are the answer.
11. The Midnight Game
This game was actually based on a ritual that was used to punish lawbreakers . . . Yeah. So let’s make it a kid’s game. Why the hell not? The game basically entails unleashing what is known as the Midnight Man so that he can . . . hunt you. Why anyone would want a dark entity hunting them down is beyond me, but whatever gets you all hot and bothered. No judgement.
12. Charlotte’s Mirror
This one is a little like Bloody Mary, except this time you’re conjuring the ghost of a seven-year-old girl named Charlotte. Charlotte died in the 15th century when her mother was burned as a witch (yikes!). If you want to summon her, call her name into a mirror and be sure to have a gift at hand. Charlotte was from the 15th century so maybe she’d like a bag of marbles. (I don’t know. What did 15th century kids play with? Jacks? Hobby horses?) If Charlotte likes the gift, she will answer your questions. If Charlotte doesn’t like the gift . . . Well . . . You’ve had a long and fulfilling life, right?
13. Baby Blues Game
This game is like Bloody Mary Part II. Sit in a dark room and cradle an imaginary baby while repeating the words “Baby Blue” thirteen times. It has to be thirteen times exactly! You should start to feel as if you’re holding an actual baby. Keep chanting until the baby starts to cry . . . Or, you know, be a sensible person and run the heck out of there! The game is seen as Bloody Mary Part II because if you “cradle” the baby long enough, Bloody Mary will appear and demand it back.
14. See and Kill
Unlike the other games on this list, See and Kill is actually both fun and harmless. One person dresses up as a serial killer and goes chasing the others (if you want to be stereotypical, through a wood or a spooky abandoned house). Each time a person is “killed,” they must let out a scream. This not only signals that they have lost the game, but it adds real fear of being “killed” to the atmosphere.
15. The Fortune Game
This Cursed Game is a little like making a deal with the devil. You basically visit a crossroads at night. Stand in the center of the crossroads and run your fingers over the teeth of a comb. Then say three times, “Tsuji-ura, tsuji-ura, grant me a true response” (no, I have no idea how to pronounce that). Hide your face (with your hands or a veil or something). Then you’re supposed to wait until you see someone approaching up the road.
If it works and a stranger approaches, ask them to tell you your fortune . . . Look, I know people like spooky games or whatever, but this is dangerous. Please don’t go to a crossroads and please don’t talk to any strangers, creepy or otherwise. Just go to a psychic and get your palm read like a normal person!
16. Hide-and-Seek Alone
You’re probably wondering how anyone can play Hide-and-Seek alone. Technically, you wouldn’t be playing this game “alone.” You would find a doll and summon a ghost to inhabit it! Then the ghost would play with you. And like all demon-possessed dolls, the ghost won’t just try to find you: it will try to stab you. Yeah. Nothing weird or creepy going on here.
Wondering how to summon a ghost into a doll? Take a page from Tiffany in The Bride of Chucky and just consult the book Voodoo for Dummies. Worked for me.
17. Cat Scratch Game
Cat Scratch is a little bit like Sandman. Basically, your mind is tricked into believing a spooky story so that your body “manifests” weird results. With Cat Scratch, you lie down with your head in your friend’s lap, and your friend tells you some scary stories involving a cat. If the stories spooked you enough, you should lift up your shirt and find cat scratches on your skin.
18. The Bath Game
Is it just me, or do a lot of these games involve summoning creepy ghosts to terrorize you? Why would anyone want that? Okay, whatever.
The Bath Game basically involves summoning the ghost of a dead woman to haunt you (for whatever reason). At night time, take a bath. As you are in the tub, close your eyes and repeat out loud, “Daruma-san fell down, Daruma-san fell down.” Supposedly, the mental image of a Japanese woman falling in the tub and losing her eye is supposed to flash before your eyes. Then without opening your eyes or turning on the lights (oh yeah, make sure the lights are off while doing this), get out of the tub and go straight to bed. The next day, a terrifying ghost will be haunting you. I mean . . . if this is the only way you can get laid, whatever.
19. The Thumb Game
This is another Japanese game based on a legend about a woman who was murdered and then dismembered by a lunatic. The police were able to locate all of her body parts except for her left thumb. “They’re creepy and they’re kooky . . .” Snap Snap
With that lovely backstory in mind, you play the Thumb Game by sitting in a circle with three or more friends. Put a lit candle in the middle of the circle, then each person holds the thumb of the person sitting to their right. Close your eyes and chant, “Oyayubi, Oyayubi, hear our voices. Oyayubi, Oyayubi, grant our wish.” This will supposedly transport you back to the scene of the murder (Sure, Jan).
You are then supposed to find the missing thumb without letting go of your friend’s thumb. If you let go, that person loses their thumb! You have until the candle burns out to find the thumb, or else you’re trapped in the past forever.
Why does this sound like something from a bad teen movie?
20. The Closet Game
Hmm. Yet another game about summoning dangerous entities. Hardly ever see any of those!
To play this game, step into a dark closet around midnight and close yourself in. Wait a few minutes, then hold out a match (unlit) and chant, “Show me the light or leave me in darkness.” If you hear whispering, light the match right away.
If you let the match go out, the demon will grab you. And probably eat you. You’ve been warned.
When you’re done hanging out with the demon in the closet, leave the closet. Again, don’t let the match go out until you’ve left!
21. The Picture Game
The Picture Game is a sooky paranormal game that gets played at sleepovers, where players attempt to summon a ghost by capturing their image by using a camera. This is a fun and exhilarating game.
In this game, players try to summon the ghost of a woman using the Queen of Spades from a deck of cards. It’s a fun game for sleepovers that seems to have originated in Russia.