The Guardian Game

How to Play

Notes

  • 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.

Equipment

  • 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.

Steps

  • 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.

Zozo

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Zozo

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

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.

 

 

General wittering

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(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

creepy-vintage-photos-scream-girls

(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

Notes

  • 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.

Equipment

  • 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.

Steps

  • 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?

Nope.

 

 

The Senorio Ritual

Manor.jpg

(c) Martyn Smith. 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

Notes

  • Credit goes to The_Kalawishis
  • This ritual is simply provided for interest. I don’t recommend performing this. Unless any of you own a secluded manor near Mexico City then you wouldn’t be able to play anyway.
  • Also known as The Manor Ritual. It took place in a Manor (obviously) near Mexico City in the eighteenth century.
  • Usually played by peninsulars and criollos, New World figures who were at the top of the sistema de castas racial hierarchy.
  • It is said that this ritual was only performed a few times and had died out almost completely by the time of Caste War of Yucatan (a Mayan uprising) took place.
  • There may be links to the human sacrifice rituals which were practiced by the Aztecs, although the OP notes that such links are tenuous at best. The connection appears to be that the ritual was performed near Tenochtitlan and involved staircases and blood.
  • The effigy was most commonly fashioned from straw, cloth and wood. Although it is said that the family performing the ritual would, in extreme cases, use a deceased Native or African laborer, painted and dressed appropriately.
  • There are over twenty variations of this ritual, each deviating in insignificant ways.
  • It is not clear what ‘black blood’ actually is. The OP describes it thus, ‘in illustrations, it is often depicted as a red liquid, dark to the point of almost being black (in one source it is completely black, the same color as the text). Given its name, some have ventured to conjecture that black blood is blood mixed with ashes, although that conjecture does not help answer the question of exactly what animal the blood would come from.’

 

Equipment

  • A  secluded manor house with two stories and a straight stairwell ascending from one to the other.
  • An assistant.
  • A chair.
  • A pike.
  • Linen.
  • Black blood.
  • An effigy of the ‘victim.’
  • A sack or piece of cloth.
  • Three candles
  • A full length mirror.
  • A lighter or matches.

Steps

  • First you must select a room in which to play. The room should be above another. The OP describes this room as “el piso de la sala superior es el techo de la sala inferior’, that is, the top rooms floor is the bottom rooms ceiling.” You should clearly be able to hear someone speaking in the ‘superior’ room.
  • Clear all furniture from both rooms (above and below), including all portraits or photographs, especially anything that is connected to the family (heirlooms etc). If either room has windows, these must be covered.
  • A lone chair should be placed in the middle of the ‘superior’ room, facing the door.
  • The floor of the interior room should be covered with linen.
  • A pike should be stood perpendicular to the floor in the ‘inferior’ room.
  • An assistant should prepare an effigy of the intended ‘victim’ of the ritual, usually an enemy of the family. This effigy should be attached to the pike, ensuring that it does not touch the floor.
  • After full dark, the performer, customarily female, should sit on the chair in the middle of the ‘superior’ room.
  • From here there are some minor deviations based on the time period in which the ritual was performed. To avoid confusion I am using the later method.
  • The assistant should now place a full length mirror upright beside the door and light three candles before leaving the room, covering their face with a sack or cloth as they do so.
  • You should now place the mirror so it leans against the door as vertically as possible, facing the chair.
  • The assistant should take a case of ‘sangre nagra’ or ‘black blood’ to the inferior room. They should pour the black blood over the effigy and loudly chant, ‘el te derriba,’ (he casts you out) seven times. The blood should cover the effigy and drip onto the linen on the floor.
  • Once you hear the seventh, ‘el te derriba,’ you should begin your part of the ritual. You should cover your ears with your hands and say, ‘dios no ve este casa,’ (God does not see this house) seven times.
  • Now stare at the mirror and bare your teeth at your reflection, blinking as seldom as possible.
  • The assistant should wait a moment for ‘el diablo ha tenido suficiente para beber,’ which translates as ‘when the devil has had enough to drink.’ This is usually the moment when the last of the black blood has stopped dripping onto the linen.
  • The assistant should now leave the ‘inferior’ room and go to the ‘superior’ room and knock on the door. This alerts you to begin the next phase of the ritual.
  • You should now leave the room, relocating the mirror and candles to their former positions on the way out. Approach the head of the stairwell.
  • The assistant should return to the ‘inferior’ room and detach the effigy of the ‘victim’ from the pike, bringing it to you. You now throw it down the stairs, saying, ‘el te derriba.’
  • The assistant should retrieve the effigy and hand it to you so the process can be repeated until it totals seven times, although some deviations specify only three. You should repeat ‘el te derriba’ each time, getting louder with each repetition.
  • The effigy should now be burned by the assistant.
  • The assistant can now clean up, which includes removing the mirror and candles and storing them in a secluded, but secure location. The mirror must never be broken.
  • If the ritual has been performed correctly, the victim should come to a sudden and unfortunate end within seven days. This can be via illness or a dark figure that will appear in their room and spirit them away. If however the ritual has been performed incorrectly, then you and your family will pay a heavy price.

Safety first

It is said if you perform this ritual incorrectly you will hear Sympathy for the Devil playing repeatedly in your ear for all eternity. Not really.

Risk level

High.

The OP details a great number of things that can go wrong with this ritual. I quote directly from the OP here:

‘The most common mistake is to pour too much black blood onto the effigy, letting the liquid drip onto the floor for far too long.

Though the ritual should start well after dusk, various sources emphasize how it needs to be performed quickly, and a small number warn that if the ritual drags on after midnight then it could have deadly consequences.

Rare but valuable personal accounts from performers of the ritual often note how they can feel an unnerving presence around them as they sit, head covered or uncovered, in the superior room. Notably, those who adhered to the later custom would often see their reflection slowly and subtly morph into a repulsive and demonic figure, baring its teeth back at the performer in the dim light.

An obscure account from a servant’s diary, one that was restored by a local librarian after many weeks of labor, tells of an envious aging wife who wanted to kill a woman whom her husband was doting on with the ritual, using the later custom. The servant, who was the assistant for that particular ritual, accidentally poured too much black blood onto the effigy, thus letting the ritual drag on past midnight. He described how, just as the trickle of black blood was beginning to slow, he heard a series of frantic screams from the wife above him. He rushed up to the superior room and pushed open the door, knocking the mirror onto the floor and shattering it. The wife claimed to have seen the devil completely materialize in the mirror and attempt to step out of it before it was shattered. Various times after that event, the servant records sightings of a dark red, almost black figure in various places around the manor and its grounds, sightings which stop with the death of the wife less than a month after the ritual.

The second most common problem that occurs during the ritual involves the phase when the effigy is thrown repeatedly down the stairs. From the repeated impacts many effigies fall apart, and can only be taken back up a stairwell in tatters. Limited accounts of this happening all mention that a foul odor beyond that of the effigy’s material or that of black blood seems to emanate from the effigy’s exposed innards, leaving behind a sickening miasma that seems to inhabit the stairwell for weeks. Those who use the stairwell regularly after that are documented as developing symptoms similar to those supposed to be inflicted on the victim. Perhaps most disturbing was the account of a family that used a fresh cadaver of a Native laborer. They had committed to casting the laborer down the stairs a full seven times, but on the sixth time the corpse opened its eyes and growled demonically. The panicked family incinerated the effigy immediately, terminating the ritual. The family patriarch, who describes the ritual in his diary, then begins to describe vivid nightmares and episodes of sleep paralysis involving the effigy watching him as he lay in bed. He writes of these incidents almost nightly for a month before his diary inexplicably ends.’

Would I play?

No.

 

Fire Breathing

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(c) Christopher King. 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

Notes

  • Credit goes to AksysGamer
  • This is a psychological ritual similar to some I have previously posted; Doors to the Mind and In The Eye of the Giant.
  • Originates from a Native American ritual.
  • You should have a clean body for this ritual, so bathe and avoid alchol and drugs for a while beforehand.
  • Your power object should be should be something very familiar to you that will help you snap out of a trance like state. It could be a childhood toy, a photo of someone important to you, or anything along those lines.

Equipment

  • 2 candles.
  • A lighter/matches.
  • 4 mirrors, ideally full length.
  • 2 chairs.
  • 1 power object.
  • 1 mobile phone/cell phone.
  • 1 mobile phone/cell phone charger.
  • A notebook/sketchbook (if you are more artistic).
  • A compass.

Steps

  • You will need a windowless room, or a room in which all windows have been covered. The idea behind this is that this ritual uses sensory deprivation.
  • Using the compass, set one of the four mirrors at each of the four corners (North, East, South and West).
  • You will be sitting on one of the chairs. Place it facing whichever of the four corners that you feel the most drawn to. The second chair should be placed in the opposite direction, facing the opposite corner. So your chair will be facing a mirror and the other chair will be behind you when you sit down, facing the opposite mirror.
  • Place one candle in front of your chair and the other in front of the second chair. This should create opposing light sources.
  • Put your notebook/sketchbook in front of you, with the pen/pencil nearer to the mirror. Your power object should be placed close to you.
  • Consider what you hope you get from this ritual; advice, understanding, self awareness. Once you have decided this, write it down on a piece of paper.
  • Turn off as many electronic devices and outside sources of light as you can.
  • Once you have fixed what you are searching for in your mind, go to bed.
  • Put your mobile phone/cell phone onto charge and place it beside you.
  • Set an alarm for exactly 02:58. You need to ensure you get exactly three hours of sleep. Set another alarm for 07:00. Go to sleep with the question fixed firmly in your mind.
  • When you are woken by your alarm, use the light from your mobile/cellphone to find your way back to the room where your ritual is set up.
  • If anything has changed in that room then do not proceed. Go to another room and wait until your next alarm goes off at 07:00.
  • If all is as it should be, sit in your chair and pick up your notepad/sketchbook. Light the candle that is in front of you. From now on this is your light source, don’t use your phone.
  • Without blinking, gaze into the mirror in front of you. Think about what you want to know and concentrate as you continue staring into the mirror. Your goal is to reach what scientists call Hypnopompia, the moment before Lucid Dreaming. This might take some practice.
  • Do not, at any point, look into any of the other mirrors. There is nothing to say what will happen, but the OP’s grandmother said it is a very bad idea. If you accidentally do so, leave the room immediately, closing the door behind you.
  • Breathe in slowly and then exhale. Continue meditating on whatever you are seeking. When you feel it is time, pick up the notepad/sketchbook and begin writing or drawing. You will know when.
  • Leave the room when the 07:00 alarm sounds. Do not remain in the room past 07:15. You may leave early if what you see or feel disturbs you.
  • You may need to do this several times until you reach the proper state for it to work.

Safety first

As with any of these games that promise greater self awareness, it is worth  bearing in mind that it can leave us feeling vulnerable or unhappy. This game is what you make of it, so if you are in a negative place, it may be worth trying something else.

Risk level

Low. It isn’t a summoning ritual. Being surrounded by four mirrors might not be a good thing if you haven’t started that diet you’ve been thinking about for six months though – personal experience.

Would I play?

Probably.

Hug me?

Pediophiobes (really hoping that is the plural), look away now.

Thanks to Lloyd and Natalie who alerted me to possibly the creepiest doll I have ever seen. Will she eat your skin or just sing you a pretty song in the middle of the night while she creeps up the stairs? Who knows.

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(c) Natalie Grother. All images remain the property of their original creator.

I have already talked about why we, as rational creatures (well, some of us), fear inanimate objects, or rather, the things that imitate life without actually achieving it. But I linked to Freud’s The Uncanny on a previous blog post so I won’t repeat myself here. Instead I will simply post some articles on the subject and leave you to stare longingly at the doll that style forgot.

Oh and while we’re speaking of creepy ass dolls who may nibble on you, remember Robert? I bet he remembers you.

Articles

MoviePilot

The Independent

The Guardian

Smithsonian

Jonathan Coulton knows what’s up:

 

 

The Red Man

images

(c) Horrorbug.com. 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

Notes

  • Credit goes to ScaryforKids and MissCocoa.
  • The game originated in Japan and involves summoning a mysterious figure. No one knows who this figure is or what their intentions are – pretty much par for the course with this sort of game.
  • Once you start playing, you cannot stop.
  • You must ensure that candles are placed, lit and extinguished in the exact order given. If you change anything you could summon another entity entirely, or the game will not work.
  • You must make sure that the mirrors are not exposed to daylight during the game, hence the dusk to dawn rule. If you can ensure complete darkness then you can play during the day.
  • Others may play this game with you, but they cannot leave the room once you start.
  • Do not allow yourself to view your own face in the mirror for the duration of the game.
  • Once the game is over, you must bury the candles and paper. You may also want to dispose of the mirrors given their propensity for acting as spirit portals.

Equipment

  • A sheet of paper.
  • Scissors.
  • Red lipstick/red lipliner.
  • Five candles.
  • Two mirrors.
  • A lighter/matches.

Steps

  • The game must be played between dusk and dawn.
  • Using all of your amazing art skills, cut the piece of paper into the shape of a paper man. Using the red lipliner, draw a line on the back of the paper man. On the left hand side write your own name in full. On the right hand side you should write ‘Rubeus’ (latin for red).
  • Place the two mirrors so that they face each other, leaving a small gap between them.
  • With the lipstick, draw two red eyes on the left hand mirror – they should be drawn in the center of the top half of the mirror.
  • Your paper man should be placed in between the two mirrors. The red eyed mirror should be to his left and the other to his right.
  • The candles should now be placed around the paper man in the style of a clock, with his head pointing at twelve o clock and his legs pointing to six. The first candle should be placed at twelve o clock, the second at two, third at five, the fourth at seven and the fifth at ten.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Light the candles in the following order: 7, 12, 5, 10, 2.
  • Cut the paper man in half.
  • The left half of your paper man should be moved closer to the left hand mirror and the right hand side closer to the right hand mirror (who would have thought?!?). Both halves should remain within the candle circle.
  • Close your eyes and repeat six times: ‘Please come, please come. I will not move until you come.’
  • Extinguish the candles in the following order: 12, 7, 2, 10, 5.
  • The Red Man should now appear.

Safety first

Usual stuff about stumbling around in the dark and summoning Darth Maul lookalikes – haven’t you seen Insidious?

Risk level

High. Assuming this does work, you don’t know what you are summoning and why. Any kind of summoning ritual usually involves some sort of deal, or the expectation of such.

Would I play?

No.