The Guardian Game

How to Play


  • The idea behind this game is to see your guardian angel, or the entity that watches over you.
  • It opens you up to entities that may not bring happy fun times.
  • Not recommended for anyone prone to anxiety, paranoia or hallucinations.


  • A mirror large enough to see behind you
  • Salt
  • A sterilized needle or a red marker
  • A clock
  • A new broom
  • A candle of any colour but black and something to light it. Also something to put it in, e.g. a candlestick or a lantern.


  • You need to find out the exact time when you were born.
  • Prick your finger with a sterilized needle, use your blood to write your time and date of birth on the mirror. I will add, there is also the chance you can do this using a red pen. It may be worth trying this first, if it doesn’t work, you can do it the creepier way. I always advise against blood magic.
  • You need to use a room with at least one window, it should be open during the ritual, but can be closed while setting up. The house also needs to be empty of anything else living, or which could potentially approximate life – no pets, no dolls, no stuffed animals.
  • Clear all furniture and personal property from the room. The room should then be throughly cleaned. Most importantly, the room needs to be swept with a new broom, though you can also use a dustpan and brush. The priority here is that the item be new and ideally cheap, as you will be disposing of it afterwards. Dark spirits like dirty places.
  • Once the room is clean, you must clean yourself. Shower, bath, use a wet wipe – however you normally do it. You must also wash your hair. The idea is to purify yourself as much as possible. Before the next step, anything else living e.g. pets, must be removed from the room, ideally the house, though don’t go locking your dogs or house cats outside overnight just to play a game.
  • Once it is dark, place the mirror in the middle of the room, when you sit in front of it, your back should be to the door, never the window.
  • Put a circle of salt around the mirror, large enough for you to sit comfortably within.
  • You should then exit the circle, closing it behind you with more salt. Place the container of salt outside the room – it must not be left inside or it will not protect you. The circle of salt should be complete when you leave the room.
  • Note that the candle or the lighting source should not be left in the room either. Keep it with you.
  • Speak aloud, “I seek the one who watches over me.”
  • Immediately leave the room, closing the door behind you.
  • If you hear any noises, especially voices or scratching, do not re-enter the room that night. Clear the room the following day and do not attempt the ritual again. There is something else watching you. Get yourself cleansed by a priest, a witch or simply by washing yourself with salt water under the next new moon.
  • If all remains silent, you can now kill time however you like, eat, read, watch a movie, but do not go to sleep.
  • If you feel sleepy at this point, clean out the room the next morning as per instructions at the end and wait at least three days before attempting this again. Keep an eye out over those days for any strange dreams, particulary any featuring a man dressed in red. If you see him, or if at any point you feel in danger, cleanse yourself, as per instructions above and never attempt this ritual again. He is watching you, so best to avoid invocations or games calling on entities of any type.
  • Providing all is normal, at exactly midnight you can begin. You must start by turning off every light in the house.
  • You can use any small light source for the next part, but avoid using a candle in case you trip over and set your house on fire. You could use a flashlight, or even a battery operated lamp, but it must be powerful enough to guide your way, but not so powerful that the whole room is lit up. You won’t want to see the whole room at once.
  • Walk from room to room, you must check every mirror in the house, whether it is a small one in your handbag or one fixed to a wall. This is very important. Use the light to look into the mirror and check the space behind you. If you see a face, a flash of red or your light source turns off, even if for a second, stop. You must turn on every light in the house, cleanse yourself again and avoid opening the room up until dawn. Do not try this ritual again.
  • Assuming every mirror is clear and shows only yourself, you are ready for the next part. Go to the room you set up earlier, open the door and leave it open behind you. Get your remaining salt, your candle, the holder and whatever you plan to light it with.
  • Open the window in the room. Remember, the door must also be open.
  • Go to the circle, clear a small part of salt and enter, closing it behind you with the new salt. Do not reuse the salt you wiped away to enter.
  • If the mirror is broken, or scratched you must end the ritual here. Do not light the candle. Exit the circle again, seal it behind you with more new salt. Leave the room, closing the door and do not enter until dawn. Put a line of salt under the doorway. Clear the room as per instructions at the end. Do not attempt the ritual again. Do not attempt any ritual including summoning spirits from this point forward. Do the same should there be any new writing on the mirror, or if your date or time of birth is wiped away.
  • Assuming the mirror is exactly as you left it and nothing else in the room has changed, you can now start.
  • Place another unbroken ring of salt around the mirror itself. It should be inside its own ring and you should be inside yours, separate.
  • Light the candle, set it into its holder and place it behind the mirror without breaking the salt ring. If at any point during this ritual, the candle goes out, stop. You know the routine by now, clear the room, clean it up at dawn and wait at least three days before trying again with a new candle.
  • At no point should you turn around and look directly at the door behind you. If you need to check it, use the mirror.
  • Stare into the mirror. No one knows exactly how the next point goes. You might see a figure behind you. A voice might talk to you. You may hear knocks or sounds elsewhere in the house. You are perfectly safe as long as you remain within your ring of salt and the mirror remains inside its own. If either of these are disturbed, by you or others, blow out the candle, say, “our communion has ended” and leave the room immediately, closing the door behind you. It is up to you if you want to try the ritual again. If you disturbed it, you should be safe. If something else did, I would probably avoid it. Put a line of salt under the door.
  • Ask the guardian its name. If it refuses, or asks you yours, stop the ritual by blowing out the candle, repeating the words in the previous point and closing the door. Put a line of salt under it. If this happens, you will need to bury the mirror – do not break it.
  • Once the guardian speaks its name, it should feel immediately familiar. You should feel calm and safe. If you feel at all uncomfortable or anxious, end the ritual as per the previous instructions.
  • You can speak to the guardian for as long as you choose. You can ask it questions, you can talk out situations. Avoid anything negative, don’t ask it about your death or the death of anyone you know. Don’t ask it the winning lottery numbers or anything that will bring you financial advantage. Talk to it as you would a friend, but remember that it is not human. Do not at any point leave the circle. Do not turn around to look at the door.
  • Once you are happy, before dawn, end the ritual. You can say goodbye however you choose from within your circle. Then say, “our communion has ended.” You should feel a change in the room, but to be safe, before leaving the circle, you should instruct your guardian to leave. Be polite, but firm, ask it to exit via the window. If it declines to do so, you must wait in the circle until dawn. Do not leave the circle until it agrees or dawn arrives.
  • Once the ritual is over, you can clean the mirror and use it again as you wish. However, avoid having it in any room where you sleep. Equally, you can bury the mirror somewhere near running water. Clean and sweep the room again. Clean yourself. The dustpan and brush or broom should be removed from your home immediately – you can leave it outside the front or back door if you like for now and dispose of it properly later. The candle should also be thrown away.
  • You can close the window at dawn. If you have any lingering feelings of a presence, smudge your house with sage. The communion with your guardian is a one time deal. To talk to it again it will demand a price, you do not want to pay it.

Safety first

  • This ritual involves checking every mirror in the home. It may be worth clearing any potential obstructions in advance that could cause you to trip.
  • Note that this ritual requires you to leave a window open overnight. This can be a risk to your home security and also a risk to yourself. I don’t advise this.

Risk level

  • High. It requires a window being left open overnight. It involves mirrors, which can act as portals. Blood magic is especially dangerous. It also has the risk of possession or inviting entities into your life.

Would I play?

  • No

A Family Matter

My town is not one you will have heard of. That’s deliberate, it’s a dangerous place, a dark one built on cursed land. There are werewolves in the woods, something old and ancient under the pond and once and once only, our dead can return home.

It isn’t easy, coming back means denying whatever afterlife awaits, turning your back on the light or its opposite and making the long, difficult walk back across the blistering sands. You condemn yourself to an eternity of wandering, of loneliness and introspection, not a choice many are willing to make. Those who return are always one of two things; angry, or desperate.

Four hundred people live in my town. Overall we’re mostly solemn, careful and keep mostly to ourselves, family means everything because it’s all we have. Occasionally someone moves away, they get married, try to settle elsewhere, but we all come back here in the end. My sister Maya always felt like she belonged somewhere else. Our mother died giving birth to her, but none of us ever really blamed her for that: sometimes bad things just happen.

Our house was old and we didn’t realise how dark it was until she came along, her innate vibrancy illuminating every corner of the old, crumbling cottage we call home. We don’t have a father now, he left after Maya was born. We were raised by our grandmother, older than time, hobbled now by the weight of passing years. She was Maya’s opposite: dark where my sister was light and I was grey, balanced precariously between the two, waiting for the scales to tip. Together we were whole. A family.

This place is dangerous certainly, but we protected each other. You soon learn the paths that are safe and the ones where the hungry things roam. Our family has lived here a long time, we made bargains, mutually beneficial arrangements that mean none of us will be stolen away in the middle of the night by the long limbed white creatures that haunt the fields. But, living here takes something from you, eats your light until you are a shadow of what you could be and I couldn’t bear that happening to Maya.

I stood on the bowing porch as she danced gracefully around the sun dappled pines, long blonde hair flowing in the early spring breeze and it was in that moment I knew that I would not let this town have her. I couldn’t know then that I wasn’t the only one watching, if only I had. Someone else in town had seen she was special and they coveted her, at the same time, wanting no one else to have her after them.

She didn’t want to leave, but I think a part of her was relieved, just as I was when I regularly received the photographs showing her with her friends and eventually, with her girlfriend. She was making a life away from here, in a way none of us had been able to, she’d left before this place could sink its claws into her. It hurt to see her moving away from us, but the pain was sweet, she’d never be tainted like we were. Or so I thought at the time.

Our grandmother died suddenly, all bodies wear out eventually, but her death was not natural, nor was it easy. A spell went wrong, badly so, and rather than release what she had raised, she took it into herself, rotting away in a matter of minutes, miles from home. I tried to keep the news to myself, Maya would return otherwise and if she did so, might not be quite as willing to leave me here alone.

She found out anyway, though she later said she’d been thinking for some time about returning, as much as I wanted to deny it, this place was part of her too, fused into her blood and bones. She arrived without warning, coming inside, bowed down by the huge backpack she’d carried all the way from the next town over. I was equally furious and ecstatic, shouting in protest, but pulling her to me even as I did so. There are few bonds sweeter than those between sisters, she made me want to be better and in another life, I might have been.

We cried together, washed our grandmother’s skin and plaited beads into her long dark hair. We sewed the burial shroud together and Maya painted the symbols onto the marker. We buried her beneath her favourite tree, the one with the dryad. Maya lingered on, past the three watching days, when our grandmother’s body was most at risk and I knew then that she planned to stay. I was working out how exactly to change her mind without hurting her when she disappeared. I went to the next town, to sell the statues I had carved. I used the money to buy my sister’s ticket back to the city. When I returned in the thickening gloom of early evening, she was already gone.

I found her three days later, body left on the outskirts of my property, a deliberate act and no doubt part of his fantasy. The thing that stayed with me, through the many sleepless nights that followed, was her hair, or rather, the lack of it. He had cut it off, those beautiful honey strands I had combed almost every day of her life lay around her, stained with her blood. She was missing her jewellery, as he had wanted to keep some parts of her close, so that he might relive her final moments, their first together. I buried her beside my grandmother.

I tried everything to find out who he was, but someone in our town had done this, outsiders never make it through the woods alive. He knew how to counteract spells, to hide the traces of him that I might have found. There is also one rule in our town that no one ever breaks and even in the depths of my despair, I was no different. We don’t involve the authorities in village business.

Six months passed, the grass began growing over the two graves outside the house, eventually the crisp red-orange autumn leaves covered the ground and tucked them in tight. I can’t speak of who I became by the time winters bite hung heavy in the air. Maya’s death left a gaping, bleeding void in me, into which the shadows crept. I was no longer grey, but black, as dark within as the gritty soil that covered the two people I’d loved most in the world.

The turning time approached, the day when the veils between worlds are pulled paper thin, filled with holes through which the determined dead can pour. I knew my sister would come to me, the same way I knew whoever killed her would try very hard to stop this from happening. Death is bad, true enough, but there is something worse, a ritual we call dispersal. The dead are weak by the time the journey is done, diminished and vulnerable. The right combination of herbs and spoken words can scatter them to the void, condemning them to the endless uncaring nothing.

It’s cruel, forbidden, but then so is murder and my sister’s attacker had no problem with that. My second worry was that I didn’t know the route my Maya would take. She knew the roads we walked every day, but the dead need not be scared of the sharp toothed denizens of the forest and so, she might take the quicker path home. Despite my many abilities, I can’t be in more than one place at the same time, so I knew there was a terrible risk that I could miss her, lose her again. I might be too late to save her for a second time. I think even then I knew he was one step ahead of me, had likely planned this for years before he had even taken her. It had not been intuition that had brought Maya home, but words in the depths of the night, our grandmother, trying very hard to tell her something, but fading before my sister could understand. I wondered what my grandmother had been trying to say.

The dark dawned at last and I left the house. The turning day had cast its strange spell over the land and the air was alive with the whispers of a veil torn asunder, the restless dead awake at last. I burned with the need for justice, no, that is a lie and I promised to be honest. I wanted revenge, my pound of flesh.

I donned the black robes, painted my face and wove my spells, so that I might make Maya’s journey a little easier. I wished I could be beside her the whole way, holding her hand and have her tell me another story. One with fair maidens and knights, a world where the good always wins in the end, not this rotten unfair place we are condemned to endure.

The woods were dark and deep and I, like Robert Frost, had promises to keep. Blanketed by night, the miles stretched ahead like an endless, empty highway and I felt more alone than ever before. All was silent, even the wolves stayed snug and safe in their burrows, the crows already flown west, to the dead lands and the masters who waited there. The air was cold, overripe berries hanging bloated and leaking from their branches. Everything smelled like wet dirt and distant graves yawned open, like dark hungry mouths.

I hummed the song I had soothed her with as a child, when she had still been scared of the woods, before she had made her peace with our strange town. I hoped she might hear it, be guided to me sooner, for as much as I wanted revenge, in that moment I wanted nothing more than to see her again. The hours passed and there was no sign of her and I felt something inside me twist, tearing places unseen, for despair gnaws readily on the bones of hope.

I think it was then that I realised something, a huge flaw in my plan that I hadn’t even considered. Most of the towns inhabitants die naturally, a few from mishaps like my grandmother or sometimes from accidents. People fall from ladders everywhere, even here. It had been a long time since someone was murdered and because of that, I forgot something my grandmother had once told me. The souls of the murdered are different, often confused, drawn first to the place in which they died. I’ve already said that the murderer covered his tracks well. Maya had been found in that overgrown field, but had not died there. In that terrible moment I knew I would not see her again. He’d known she would return and of course, he had prepared for that as well. Possibly before he had even killed her.

I howled at the blood tinged moon and for just a moment, I heard my pain reflected somewhere distant, as what was left of my sister was lost in the wind. I felt her absence all over again and a wound within, barely scabbed over, burst open and bled anew. There was nothing I could do to end her suffering, any more than I could end my own, no spells I could weave to bind her scattered pieces back together. There would be no goodbye, no whispered words of love to soothe our raw weeping edges. Maya was gone forever and the world was worse for it.

I had forgotten the one important thing about my sister’s return and had doomed us both to an eternity apart, but I wasn’t the only one who was distracted. Her murderer had been as excited as I was for my sister’s return, albeit in a different way and I had no doubt that he’d overlooked one important thing. My sister wasn’t the only member of my family to die in the past year and was not the only one who could return. I hadn’t expected it myself until I turned to find the shade of my grandmother behind me.

She had sensed something awful was coming to our family, before it happened. She’d decided to call upon a powerful entity, one she didn’t entirely trust. She was too old, too worn out to stand against the entity when he demanded the ultimate payment. She gave her life to see, ahead of time, my sister’s murder, but died before being able to do anything to prevent it. I said that some spirits are desperate, others angry and I’m sure you can guess which of the two motivated my grandmother to make that long, dangerous walk back to me. In the loneliest part of the night we came together and made our plans against him.

The murderer was not someone I knew personally, but I made it my business to change that, after all, I had little else to do. He lived alone in a home as old as mine, on the outskirts of town, split over two levels. The staircase was stone, uneven and mossy, easy to take an unexpected tumble in the depths of the night. I watched them carry his body out. his neck lolled strangely, but he did not have another mark on him, for I didn’t want anyone to suspect he might return on the next turning day.

I said that dispersal was cruel, but it is not the worst thing you can do to the dead, my grandmother taught me that. We have our own version of the voodoo doll, this one not designed to punish an external foe, but instead, to bind a spirit within it. Traditionally, the dead are bound within small earthenware containers, a bit like a genie in a lamp, so that the caster can harness their energy for more complicated spell work. That is not my intention. He is, after all, no longer the only human monster in town. You already know that I’m no fairy tale princess, more like the wicked witch and I want him there forever, able to think and feel every second of his eternity.

I sewed the doll over a few days, making it from one of my grandmother’s old dresses, as she had suggested and stuffed it with my sister’s bloody hair. I took breaks to write this, I think Maya would want her story told. Even so, I’m sure you understand that at its heart, this is a family matter and therefore, my grandmother and sister must be included in his punishment, in one way or another. His prison has to be made from cotton you see, because I will need somewhere to stick the pins.

Is anyone else playing the 48 game?

Please read this.

Does anyone else know how the 48 game ends?

I’ll say straight off that I am not even sure if it’s the right name for it, but it is what I’ve been calling it for reasons that’ll soon become obvious. I guess the easiest thing here is to start at the beginning, well, I mean at the start of the game rather than the origin of the universe or things are going to get even longer.

I’m a writer, also a procrastinator so I tend to have a lot of time where I do anything but what I actually should be doing. It actually started last year, before 2020 decided to throw its toys out of the pram. The game is tricky, you don’t even know you’re playing at first, not until you’re in too deep to get out. That was how it was for me. I always sit on the same bench, it’s a thing in the UK, if someone sits on your bench, or stands in your spot on the train platform you quietly hate them to the grave.

Luckily, my bench was free, probably because it was pretty cold and anyone with sense was outdoors for as little time as possible, but I like to people watch. There was a note there, weighed down with a little rock and because I’m nosy, I read it. It just said, “put me in the trash,” and at the bottom of it was the number 48 written in tiny numbers. The bin was right beside the bench and I didn’t want to toss it on the floor, so like a good citizen I did what it said. I noticed there was a little envelope stuck to the back of the bin that just said “open me,” with another 48 at the bottom. So I did and inside was a little note saying, “thanks,” and pinned to it was a voucher for our local coffee shop. Like I said, the game is designed this way, most people would have thrown the paper into the rubbish and would use the voucher. I did, I figured it was some sort of civic responsibility initiative and plus, free coffee.

When I handed over my voucher the barista smiled and then gave me another envelope, in it was a voucher for our local restaurant. By now I was convinced it was some sort of promotional thing, a weird ad campaign by our council to use local businesses, especially as the coffee shop seemed to be involved. So I went to the restaurant, I wasn’t entirely stupid, I did keep an eye out to make sure no one was waiting at the table in some sort of Criminal Minds situation, but everything went exactly as it should. There were no more envelopes, so I assumed that was the end of the promotion and went on with my life.

It was weeks before the next envelope arrived, I had almost forgotten about the whole thing in the usual day to day grind. The next one freaked me out at first as someone had slid it under my windscreen wipers. Another voucher to another restaurant, but this one was out of town. I told one of my friends about it, he’s a pretty sensible person, but didn’t seem freaked out and even offered to go with me, safety in numbers and all that. He pointed out that this envelope didn’t even have the number 48 on it, so this could just be another part of the same initiative, put onto several people’s cars. I think both of us saw it as a little adventure really, the writer in me thought it was good material and my friend saw free food.

It was when we arrived that things started to get weird, the restaurant was there alright, but it was boarded up. There was no one around and straight away we decided to nope out of there. I was creeped out thinking I might have gone there alone and started realising how strange all of this actually was. I had decided that I was done with the odd little notes, filed it away in my writing material folder and carried on as I always had.

I found the next note three days later inside my house, on my kitchen table and went straight to the police, as anyone with any sense would really. They actually took it pretty seriously, came to check my house, took the note in as evidence and recommended some precautions I could take to keep myself safe. The first thing I did was change the locks, the police pointed out that often people don’t think to do this and you don’t know who the previous owners gave keys to. Honestly, I couldn’t really afford to put a security system in, they’re pretty expensive, but I did get one of those ring doorbells and checked it regularly – nothing really happened aside from getting to watch Yodel yeet one of my fragile parcels over the fence.

I started to wonder if this was some screwed up ARG or similar, started by someone without normal boundaries. Jump ahead two months. I was still a little wigged out over the whole thing, but again, had got caught up in deadlines and financial worries, plus there was a lot of talk about this potential virus far off in Asia.

The next note was left in my front garden, in the middle of the path and was straight to the point, “you can’t stop playing now.” I checked the ring doorbell straight away, but no one had come to my door, or even into my front garden. My mistake then was going back to the police, as soon as they saw the ring doorbell footage I’m pretty sure they figured I was doing this myself as some sort of joke. They weren’t quite as friendly and helpful that time and mentioned wasting police time – the message was pretty clear. Don’t come back unless you have actual evidence.

The next thing that happened was an email I received, I didn’t even pick it up for a few days as to be honest, most of my communication is via Whatsapp or similar these days. I only really get junk email despite unsubscribing thirty times and maybe look at it once a week. This guy, calling himself Tom, said he had been told to contact me and tell me to visit a certain place. I of course figured it was the game organiser himself contacting me and was tempted to go to the police again, but knew they wouldn’t do much after last time.

The address I was told to visit was a graveyard and there was absolutely no chance I was doing it. Like I said, I watch Criminal Minds. I threw the note in the bin, filed the email in case they messaged again and checked the ring doorbell pretty often during the day. That night was probably where it all really began as I woke up around 3am completely terrified. I knew straight away that there was someone in my room, I assumed at first that it was a murderer, I think most people would. That was until I saw the squat shadow crouching on top of my wardrobe with red eyes, just watching me.

Now I’m a sceptic, I’m scared of Bundy, not the restless dead, but there is some part of us that in that moment just accepts what we are looking at. Not that we won’t question it later, to try and reassure ourselves before we turn off the light, but this thing wasn’t and had never been human, simple as that.

It dropped a piece of paper on the floor and then it was gone. I wish it hadn’t done that, it would have been easy to wake up the next day and mark it off as a weird dream, but the paper hadn’t been there before so there was no denying it. It had the same instruction as before, telling me to go to the graveyard. It is hard to describe the feeling the thing left me with, but I did not want it coming back so, against my better judgement, I went to the cemetery.

Long story short (too late, haha), I have been playing for a while now. The game has never asked me to hurt anyone, to break in anywhere, or to in any way break the law, I mostly just had to visit odd places. Ever since my nocturnal visitor, all of these places had to be visited at night. They were all cold, lonely places on the edge of nowhere – cemeteries, countryside houses, boarded up businesses. No one ever tried to hurt me either, though a few times I was convinced I might have a heart attack when I heard a noise nearby. I think if it had asked me to do something against my own moral code, I might have stopped anyway, I didn’t think I could ever hurt an animal or a person, even if I might end up suffering myself. At least I didn’t think so back then. The game is clever that way, it knows people’s limits and never pushes you over them. If I’m being really honest here, even though I was creeped out by the whole thing, a part of me found these places interesting in the same way some people like gothic novels or grave rubbings. It appealed on some level to that dark part of me that led me to watch things like Criminal Minds in the first place or read nosleep. That desire to be scared.

It even respected lock down, asking me to go out only once per day and by then, even a scary old house was better than staring at the same four walls. Or worse, reading about my friends during lockdown who were running marathons or had learned seven languages while I sat in my underwear, eating crisps.

Things are weird now though, I see shadow people a lot, lingering around my corridors and at night, I sometimes hear scrabbling outside my bedroom door. I tried emailing Tom back but the email won’t go through, this worries me. I think that thing was a minion and the master is somehow everywhere and nowhere, playing us like puppets.

Before today I have obeyed forty six instructions. One of Tom’s was to keep me playing, I guess my role is to bring in some new players. I said that it knows you, it knows what interests you and draws you in with a simple instruction you’re likely to follow, for example, me posting “please read this” at the top of the page.

I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I think the game is building to something and the fact that it now has new players makes me disposable. The Hat Man has been watching me since yesterday, peeping around corners or tiptoing behind me when I walk around the house in the dark.I am expecting my forty eighth instruction soon, I doubt there will be a forty ninth. Maybe I’ll win some amazing prize, but I keep thinking of that scrabbling at my door – I think by playing I’ve let something into this world. I think the game makes it stronger, maybe by expanding its players it is building its energy. It is 2020, this would be the year for monsters. Maybe it is an ARG of sorts after all. You have time to try and figure this out, time I wasted by procrastinating. Good luck.

There was a postscript on my forty seventh instruction, that I am to tell you here at the end. You have already obeyed your first instruction by reading this. The second is this, before you go to sleep, please turn off the light.

So, it’s been over a year. Oops.

Firstly, thank you for all of the messages on email, Facebook, Ouija, carrier pigeon etc. asking what happened. I notice people visiting the site and I do approve/read comments, but I didn’t realise how much some of you enjoyed reading the content. That’s nice to know.

There are a few reasons why I vanished and set my site to private. I don’t want to go into too much depth here as I’m sure you have dinner plans, but I felt I owed you all an explanation. It has been a crazy year for me. I got married. I lost a close family member. I moved house. I travelled to a different country for a few months. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. I read a list of most stressful things people can do and thought, hey, why not do almost all of them in a short space of time and see if my head explodes. Note, it did not.

I guess along the way, the blog slipped by the wayside. I have never made any money from this site and it was always supposed to be something fun to do. With everything else going on, honestly, it became a bit of a chore. I didn’t know what to write about and I fell into the trap of just looking for interesting things and reposting them.

Lastly, and I apologise for those of you who have had to cancel dinner plans for the month, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with the blog. Most people seem to enjoy the scary games, but I do feel as though they took over and I lost the whole idea of what I first intended the blog to be. I am hoping to get back to that over the next few months. I hope the content will still remain interesting, but as always, I welcome feedback from you, the people actually reading this.

I will leave it there for now.





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If you are a fan of Scare Theater, like I am, then you will recently have seen a video about a demonic entity that calls itself ZoZo. I thought this might be interesting to do a bit of research on and share with all of you.

Supposedly according to this website, the name ZoZo was listed in the 1906 book, The Infernal Dictionary, by Manuel A. Malet as a nickname used by a demon called Pazuzu – a soul stealer. Now I can’t find much information about this book, although others claim ZoZo’s name appears in Dictionnaire Infernal, which was written by Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy (try saying that three times fast) in 1818 and does exist. This site says that the mention is as follows:


ZoZo, a demon whom accompanied by Mimi and Crapoulet, possessed a young girl at Teilly, a town in Picardy in 1816 .

This site also provides an argument that this could also be Zoso, who was associated with Led Zeppelin and some websites do seem to write about this same entity with this spelling instead.

People claim to have encountered this demon up to the present day in various forms of spirit communication. This includes ouija, EVP, automatic writing, pendulum sessions and various others. All encounters with this entity are unpleasant and unpredictable, but most of the recorded experiences are directly related to ouija. I previously wrote two articles on ouija, one an instructional post designed for those of you who intend to use it and that can be found here. The other was simply ouija stories.

The majority of the articles I have found about this demonic entity are about how to react should you encounter him during an ouija session. Warnings that ZoZo is hanging out with you include:

  • Rapid figure 8 movements of the planchette.
  • Spelling out of the words ZOZO (duh), MAMA, OZ, ZO, ZA, ABACUS or ZAZA. The demon is supposedly fixated on spelling its own name repeatedly in an attempt to have it spoken out loud.
  • Extreme feelings of hate or sadness during and following the session.
  • A shadow figure moving around the ouija board area.

If you do encounter this entity, the advice is the same as if you should encounter any unpleasant spirit through an Ouija board.

  • Stay calm.
  • Close the board properly.
  • Do not use the same board again.
  • Never speak the demon’s name, or read any of the words being spelled on the board. Names give power.

Although stories of this demon do seem to go back to the 80s on the internet, this could all well be another viral marketing campaign, as there is a movie coming out in the next year or so about ZoZo.

It is always worth reminding people out there though to be careful with things like Ouija because whether you believe there are demonic entities out there who love hanging around at teenage sleepovers, the power of suggestion can be a powerful thing, especially to anyone who is especially vulnerable or generally emotionally unstable.

Supposedly knowing about this demon now means it is aware of you too, so avoid speaking its name and maybe hold off on the sleepovers for a while.

Stay safe.



The Curse of the Crying Child

The Anguished Mandownload

(c) Google Images. All images remain the property of their original creator.

The Crying Boy

I have written about curses before and they are certainly something that continue to interest people.

Rumours of this curse seem to have originated in 1985 when the Sun newspaper (tempted to put newspaper in inverted commas there) reported that a firefighter from Essex claimed that paintings of The Crying Boy by Giovanni Bragolin were frequently found undamaged in the ruins of burned out buildings. This supposedly meant that firefighters refused to have the print in their own homes.

Numerous people seemed to come forward following this article, including Ron and Mary Hall of South Yorkshire, Janet Wyatt (Isle of Wight) and Linda Fleming (Leeds). All claimed they had either experienced fires involving the painting (left undamaged), or had tried to destroy the painting (and failed).

The most logical conclusion here is that the painting is coated in some kind of fire retardant material which preserves it during fires. However, you could also argue that surely this would also apply to other paintings involved in house fires that don’t survive  the blaze and it doesn’t seem to be fire retardant in the YouTube video at the end of this article.

Supposedly if you hang a picture of a crying girl by Bragolin beside the crying boy then you will either be fire free, or experience an even worse house fire. So clearly the crying boy is either a lonely pyromaniac who just needs the love of a good woman, or a pyromaniac who also has social issues.

I’m unsure if all of the paintings by Bragolin are cursed, or there are particular prints that cause issues. He painted upwards of 65 paintings of crying children, so maybe just boycott the artist if you feel nervous. There are also reports that other artists have similarly cursed paintings and you can read about some of those here.

If you would like to read more about the Bragolin curse in particular then I can recommend this excellent post by messybeast.

So is it true? Who knows. People who have sadly lost their homes in terrible fires want something or someone to blame for their misfortune, that is human nature. The key point of the curse is supposed to be that you are at more risk from it once you know about it. People often try to find some sort of sense in tragedy, because understanding is the key to banishing the terrifying unknown. It is always nice to have a scapegoat and furthermore, to feel as though through doing something, like getting rid of a painting for example, you are averting some future tragedy that might otherwise be out of your control.

To me it is often scarier imagining what is out there in the darkness than in confronting it. More often than not we find a purely logical explanation for the demonic howling outside the window at 3am (extended happy hours or amateur karaoke are the most common causes around here). But there is always that more primitive side of your brain that whispers, what if.

I decided to write this post after walking past a charity shop window the other day and seeing a large picture of a crying boy in the window. I remembered reading about this years ago and it made me wonder about the history of the painting I had seen. Was it one by Bragolin, or are crying children just amazing muses? The good news is that it didn’t seem horribly charred, so maybe it was just that crying children didn’t really evoke the sort of warm, non depressing atmosphere the donator goes for in their interior decor. I like to think of myself as a skeptic most of the time (although I do have this yearning for there to be something more, hence this blog) but I find it interesting that I don’t think I would hang a painting by Bragolin in my home. Would you?


Atlas Obscura

Dr David Clarke

The Hands Resist Him

The Anguished Man






General wittering


(c) Google Images. All images remain the property of their original creator.

I try not to do too many of these sorts of posts because, let’s face it, you’re not here for me. You want to be scared and not in a, I’m wearing no makeup today after four hours sleep, way. Trust me, it’s not pretty.

I have returned from South Korea, which is a very interesting place by the way. I have started a new job in Wales, am looking for a new house and am getting married in November (because I decided that the best way of ending 2017 is doing three out of the top five most stressful life events simultaneously). I’m not crying, you are.

I am not always the best at updating the blog, although I do always try to read your comments and keep a general eye on the site when possible. Sometimes I simply lack inspiration, other times it is just too much going on in the real world. Trust me, ghosts and demons have nothing on irate customers and bank managers.

I have been debating for a while about maybe creating a YouTube channel, it would be a bit of a mix of stuff like on here, although I would want to brush up my editing skills before inflicting them on the world. Is that something you would be interested in? By the way, I recommend checking out Dark 5 on YouTube for a channel of weird, but interesting stuff. In no way sponsored, am just a fan.

Hoping to get some new content up today. Random aside, I booked my tickets for the new IT film today. Anyone else excited?

Waking the Dead


(c) Google Images. All images remain the property of their original creator.

Disclaimer: I am posting this for fun and because people enjoy reading about these things. If you choose to play any of these games then you do so at your own risk.

How to Play


  • Credit goes to EbonWolf88.
  • This is one for all you DIY spookies out there who don’t fancy building a whole scary mirror box of doom.
  • Author notes that this ritual may not work if you are not into Khemeticism, the religion of ancient Egypt as this ritual incorporates elements of that.
  • Once you begin construction you cannot allow anyone to tamper with your equipment (oo-er) or interrupt the process.
  • If you have to use the safe room then I suggest remaining in it until dawn and then smudging the whole house the following day once you have removed all of the ritual components.
  • When choosing a room to perform the ritual I wouldn’t recommend it being somewhere anyone sleeps. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend doing this in your home at all.


  • Enamel spray paint in matt black.
  • A large sheet of cardboard.
  • Bat or Dove’s blood ink. You can buy it here, or for my fellow UK people, here. Aside from Amazon I haven’t used these other suppliers so accept no liability for them screwing you over, should it happen.
  • Calligraphy or parchment paper.
  • A quill, paintbrush or a calligraphy pen.
  • Pliers.
  • Rubbing alcohol and a cloth.
  • Metallic sharpie in any colour.
  • Rubber cement.
  • A square mirror with removable frame.
  • Salt.
  • Thick, black cloth, large enough to cover your mirror.


  • Remove the glass from the mirror frame and clean it throughly with the rubbing alcohol, being sure to remove any stains, smears or fingerprints. Be careful not to cut yourself kiddos.
  • Put all of the other supplies in the room you will be using for your ritual.
  • Take it outside and lay it on your piece of cardboard. Holding the can of paint around 10 inches from the glass (to avoid air bubbles) spray one side black. Leave to dry.
  • Once you want to start your ritual, go to the ritual room (well, duh). Close the door and tell everyone not to disturb you.
  • Take the mirror frame and using the metallic sharpie, write ‘wake the dead’ on each of the four sides so that it will show once the mirror is replaced.
  • Draw a border line around the frame, to contain the words you have just written and do so in a single continuous motion so that there are no gaps or breaks. This is important.
  • Using the pliers, remove any fastenings or hooks from the back of the mirror. You don’t want to hang it on the wall.
  • Lay a line of salt across the doorway of your room, to trap anything nasty inside. Make sure that each time you leave after this you don’t disturb the line.
  • If it makes you feel better you can set up a safe space in another room by putting a line of salt across the doorway with a gap for you to enter by – if you do have to enter the room then use more salt to seal the gap behind you and wait in there until dawn.
  • Always do this part last because things may happen once you complete this step. Using your pen/quill/paintbrush and ink, write on it the first four lines of the Pyramid Text Utterance (Hymn for waking the dead). This is as follows: “O, raise thyself up, Unite thy bones to thee, Collect thy limbs, Shake the earth from thy flesh.” Once this part has been written, ensure you do not look behind you at any point during the ritual, whatever the provocation.
  • Use the rubber cement to stick this piece of paper to the inside of the back panel of the frame.
  • Leave your room and make sure to close the door behind you.
  • Go and spray the second coat of paint onto the mirror and leave to dry.
  • Return to your room and kill time for half an hour or so, remembering not to look behind you at any point. Beware of reflective surfaces at this time.
  • Go and get your mirror, closing the door behind you again and making sure not to disturb the salt line.
  • Ensure that on the side painted black none of the mirror shows through. If this is the case then you replace it into the frame, the shiny side facing out. Do not look into the mirror once it is assembled and be prepared for weird stuff to happen.
  • Cover the mirror with your black cloth and things should settle down. Keep it covered unless you want to use it.
  • There are no instructions provided by the OP about how you should use your mirror or what to expect if you do. Rituals involving mirrors are normally designed to turn them into a portal or doorway of some kind. As such, I would expect that you should be able to talk to the dead. My only comment is that in many of these rituals the warnings are always the same, the dead, or those posing as them, lie and make promises. You should not trust or believe anything they say.
  • If you intend to leave this mirror up in the room then I would suggest surrounding it with a ring of salt.
  • The OP suggests that each time after using the mirror you should leave it outside, face up during the next clear new moon for at least an hour. This is probably intended to cleanse it as the new moon is believe to be purifying. You can read something about purifying objects with the new moon here. This cleansing process is optional, but the longer the parchment and black side of the mirror spend together, the more powerful they become.

Safety first

After writing articles such as this one, you should probably clear your very weird browsing history. Bats Blood anyone? waking dead people? Normal people just worry about porn.

Anyway, careful with the glass, don’t inhale too much paint and avoid being eaten by flesh hungry Egyptian mummies (ugh, this just made me remember watching the new Mummy film.).

Risk level

High. Not enough information provided about certain parts of the experience. Also a high risk of zombies.

Would I play?




Good news. I’m not dead.


I am just writing a quick post to explain my rather long absence from the blog.

I am moving to South Korea in two weeks and preparations for this have kept me away from writing for quite some time. There has been a bit of writers block thrown into the mix if I am honest, too.

There will be some new posts to come fairly soon, but please allow some time for me to settle into a new country and a new job.

Thank you for those who have continued to read this blog and welcome to those who have recently subscribed. Apologies again for the rather sporadic nature of the posts over the last year.

As always, I appreciate those who have contacted me to check I wasn’t abducted by pirates or something equally exciting.