The Corner Game

Creepy Corner

(c) Frank Docherty. His photos can be found here. 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.
  • There is an old superstition that states if you look at the corners in a dark room before sleep, ghosts will haunt your dreams.
  • Corners are supposedly unlucky.
  • It is said that ghosts which crawl around the ceiling use the corners to reach the floor. Ghosts standing in a room will also linger in corners to avoid the sensation of passing through the living.
  • The only people in the house must be the four players. This means no pets either.
  • A ghost may join the game. If this happens then one of your friends may either disappear or be possessed. This should only last until the end of the game. If one of you continues to face the wall once the light is switched on at the end of a turn, continue the game, but stand behind that person for your turn. That is the ghost. Only one switch can take place per turn. So set up a signal per turn so you know who is still there, for example  player 1 knocks once after changing corners, two knocks for player 2 and so on. If one of you misses the signal, follow the instructions set out in the steps below.

Equipment

  • None, just four people.

Steps

  • Turn off all lights except for those in the play room.
  • Decide amongst yourselves on signals to be given through the game to keep order and who will be order keeper. If no signals are given, second in command should continue. This discussion should not take place in the game room. Decide on a player order too.
  • Upon entering the play room, call out your own name 3 times.
  • Close the door to the room once you are ready to begin. Turn off the light.
  • Each of you should choose a corner to stand in, facing the wall.
  • The person who is supposed to give the signal should call out, ‘one, two, three’ and then everyone moves clockwise to the next corner. If anyone accidentally runs into someone else, turn on the lights and begin again after a few moments.
  • It is said that during the game, someone may disappear and someone/something else may join the game to make sure none of the corners are empty. If this is believed to have happened then the designated order keeper should give the signal, or if they are not present, the second in command. Each person should whisper their name backwards three times, press their back to the wall and the nearest person to the light should switch it on. Don’t wait too long to switch on the light, if the nearest person hasn’t done so within a few seconds, the second nearest should do it. If the person does not immediately return then you must carry on playing. Turn off the light and continue.
  • If someone/something else has joined the game then you must also continue and complete to ensure the return of your missing friend. Do not interact with the ghost in any way. The game is completed once each person has stood in each of the four corners.
  • Turn on the light, open the door to the room and leave.

Safety first

  • Dark rooms increase risk of collision or tripping over.

Risk level

Medium to high.

Would I play?

No thanks. I’m enough of a klutz with the lights on.

Dead Man Tag (game)

Image

(c) Original Artist. 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

  • This sort of game is pretty old and is similar to one that I played as a child. There are lots of different variations from the creepy pasta it originated from, but this is based on the one I played.
  • Each person playing should have their own equipment.
  • This game can be played alone if you want, although it makes it more dangerous as whatever is out there will be solely fixated upon you.
  • You should play this outside, somewhere with a landmark or that is surrounded by a fence – you need something to represent home so you will probably want to agree this in advance. We used to play in the woods, although I have heard of people playing in old graveyards or ruins. It doesn’t really matter as long as there is space to hide and run along the way.
  • You can play this without a torch, but it’s the quickest way to a broken leg or worse, so I’d recommend having some form of light.
  • If you have anyone who is especially unfit or otherwise slowed they should probably be closer to home to allow for that. You want everyone to reach home.
  • Each person should start alone, two people cannot choose the same starting spot and ideally everyone should be out of sight of the other players.
  • It is said that if anyone is caught they can become possessed and will begin to target other players.
  • The danger is that you don’t know what is out there in the dark and what price they will demand if they catch you. It is said that if one of you doesn’t reach home then the game can never end and you will be haunted for the rest of your life.

Equipment

  • A torch (optional, but advised).
  • A watch or timer.
  • A whistle.

Steps

  • You should be at the place you want to play in before it gets fully dark and find somewhere roughly in the middle of the play area to begin.
  • At this point everyone should make sure they have their torch, watch and whistle.
  • As it gets dark (or once it is dark) you should start.
  • Stand in a circle (or alone if no one else is playing) and join hands.
  • One person should now say something like (there are no agreed words) ‘I invite the local dead to play a game. Home is (name whatever you have decided as home). Once home we blow our whistle and we are safe. Once we are all home the game is done. You may count to (name a sensible figure). The game begins once my whistle blows.’
  • At this point you should set your watch for the amount of time the dead will have to count. Also the game leader who spoke the words should give a time when he/she will blow their whistle for the game to start.
  • Each person should now go to wherever they wish to start the game.
  • At the agreed time the leader should blow their whistle to begin the game and shout ‘you’re it’. Just before this, or after they hear the whistle each person should start the countdown on their watches. You have until the timer runs out to reach home.
  • Hide any time you hear someone approaching and you shouldn’t run with another person.
  • If the conditions are right then at some point you will become aware of something large out there in the dark looking for you. If you see or experience anything strange then you should get home as soon as possible.
  • As soon as you reach the agreed home location you must blow your whistle to be safe.
  • Once all of you are home the person who began the game should say ‘game is over, thanks for playing’. If someone does not reach home then someone else can say this in their place.

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Safety first

  • Running around in the dark can lead to injury.
  • There can be other people around who are scarier than ghosts. Be sensible if you play any sort of game outdoors in an unfamiliar area. For those non supernatural reasons I’d avoid playing this game on your own.

Risk factor

Medium to high if you’re unfit.

Would I play?

I have played.

Hyaku Monogatari (game)

Image

(c)  google images. All images remain the property of their 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

  • I read about this ritual in Yurei Attack, a book I have talked about previously.
  • This game dates from the 17th century and is traditionally played during the summer. It must also be played during a full moon.
  • I doubt anyone would actually want to play this due to the amount of candles/lanterns required, but if you do, usual disclaimer applies.
  • To play this game you need a minimum of 3 people, though ideally you should gather as many as possible due to the game requirements.
  • This game can be played anywhere, outside or in. You need two or three adjoining rooms or spaces, ideally in an L shape if possible. So imagine a hallway with two rooms at the end.

Equipment

  • 100 lanterns or candles, ideally blue.
  • A table.
  • A mirror.
  • 100 stories.

Steps

  • In the room furthest from the one the participants will start in you should arrange in a circle either 100 lanterns or candles, leaving a space in the middle. If possible, the lanterns or candles should be blue.
  • In the middle of the circle you should place a table and on top of that should be a mirror.
  • Participants should ideally dress in blue, but since this requirement dates from the oldest version of the game, most modern versions leave this part as optional.
  • Remove all dangerous items from the rooms you intend to use (e.g. knives etc).
  • You will need 100 spooky tales which can be gathered and printed in advance (this is why the bigger the group, the better). Each tale should be about five minutes long (which makes about an eight hour game, another reason why this isn’t played much now).
  • After each person tells a tale they should go into the room with the lanterns/candles and extinguish one.
  • They should then stare at themselves in the mirror for 60 seconds without averting their gaze before returning to the story telling room.
  • The candle/lantern room will get darker and creepier as each candle is blown out. The theory is that once all the candles are blown out something strange will happen, but no one knows exactly what it is because most people stop at 99. Some believe that this may summon a ghost or demon, others think that the last person to blow out the candle will be spirited away to another world. Other variants state that the last person should make a wish before blowing out their candle. Most seem to agree that once summoned, whatever happens will last for a period of 30 days and cannot be stopped until this time is over.
  • If you do play this and wish to stop at 99 candles/lanterns then simply remove the table and mirror from the room and don’t blow out the last candle until sunrise. If the candle goes out by itself before then, that’s fine.

Safety first

Room full of candles. High fire risk.

Risk level

Medium to high as no one knows what happens at the end.

Would I play?

Maybe. You can always stop at 99.

Oiwa

Image(c) original artist.

Oiwa

History/Origin

Oiwa is one of the most famous Yurei and it is said she inspired Sadako from Ringu (which was based on a novel). There seem to be many different versions of her story and I haven’t been able to find many coherent versions in English.

My version is taken from Yurei Attack: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide by H. Yoda and Matt Alt. I really recommend it if you’re interested in Yurei. But on with the story.

Oiwa’s husband was named Iyemon and he was a dishonoured samurai. Their relationship was rather turbulent and after one particularly unpleasant row, Oiwa returned to her parental home. To add another dimension to the story, Oiwa’s father is aware that Iyemon stole money from his former employer. Iyemon attempts to talk the old man around, but when confronted with proof of his fraud he becomes enraged and stabs Oiwa’s father to death.

Oiwa has a sister Osode who is married to Yomoshichi, apparently happily. But there is another man on the scene by the name of Naosuke, who is the neighbourhood pedlar and a bit of a stalker. In the same night that Oiwa’s father is murdered, Naosuke decides the time has come to dispatch Yomoshichi.

Both women return to their respective homes and are confronted by the bodies of the murdered men, but somehow both Iyemon and Naosuke manage to convince them that this was the work of mysterious robbers. Both promise to avenge the dead men (that they killed) and life goes on. Iyemon and Oiwa get back together and Naosuke begins to work his charm on Osode.

Oiwa has a baby, but instead of being overjoyed Iyemon begins to grow distant and begins a flirtation with a neighbouring girl Ume. This cast of characters is beginning to rival George R Martin. Anyway, Iyemon wants rid of his wife and decides to bribe a masseuse to seduce his wife, intending to use this as reason to divorce her. What a guy!

Ume, being as lovely as her new paramour decides that Iyemon is taking too long and sends Oiwa a medicinal cream, which is actually a pretty nasty poison. Poor Oiwa, being trusting and not a big jerk, uses the cream and it has a terrible result; her hair falls out and her skin beings to fall off her face. The masseuse either feels sorry for her, or cannot bear to go through with the seduction because she’s no longer cover girl material and tells Oiwa everything.

Oiwa commits suicide, but not before swearing a terrible curse on those who had wronged her (a long list). Meanwhile a law-man comes poking around, suspicious about that bottle of poison Oiwa received and Iyemon, in a panic, murders him too. Hearing of the curse, he nails Oiwa’s body to a door (as you do) and tosses the body of the murdered law-man on top for good measure. He tosses the door into a river and hopes anyone who finds it will consider them a murder-suicide – though why they’d nail themselves to a door first obviously didn’t occur to rational Iyemon.

Now we shift forward a bit to Iyemon and Ume’s wedding night and this is where it gets good. Oiwa’s ghost appears in the wedding suite and in panic Iyemon lashes out wildly and accidentally stabs his new wife. He flees the room into the hall where Oiwa appears again and this time Iyemon cuts down Ume’s father by mistake. The rest of the household are understandably upset by this departure from the normal wedding night activities and chase him through the village. Iyemon (just for giggles apparently) throws Ume’s mother and a servant into a river and both drown.

Naosuke is having a slightly better time of it as Osode has finally agreed to do the deed with him, but they aren’t alone. Yomoshichi’s ghost appears, rather angry as you’d imagine and of course, Osode is tragically killed in Naosuke’s attempt to wrestle the spirit. Randomly it turns out that Osode was actually Naosuke’s long lost sister, though I don’t know how he figures this out. Naosuke kills himself. Soap operas have nothing on this.

Iyemon continues to be haunted by the disfigured corpse of his wife, she gives him no peace. By now he is on the run and on the verge of starving. He attempts to catch fish, but instead hooks the door, still bearing the corpses of his first wife and the law-man. He flees to a place called Snake Mountain where of course he lives happily ever after. Or not. He attempts suicide, but Oiwa won’t let him get off that easily and keeps halting the blade.

Finally Yomoshichi, apparently deciding that he likes murder, pops up and bumps off Iyemon. Because, why the hell shouldn’t he?

How do I recognise her?

Like many Japanese ghosts she is tall and thin with long black hair.

Oiwa is also said to sometimes manifest as a lantern. This is not unusual for a Yurei and in order to be sure that it is Oiwa you should look for the lantern with hair.

Where will I find her?

Tokyo.

How do I get her attention?

There are stories of those who act out her story on stage being mysteriously injured shortly after. This even affects those on television.

Oiwa really doesn’t like men who wrong women or women who take other women’s husbands (or presumably those who play with poison) and is said to be as malevolent and powerful today as she was back then. So if you’re in Tokyo you may want to behave.

How do I escape?

Before beginning a performance it is said that you should visit her grave to pay your respects. You can also visit the Tamiya Shrine, located at Oiwa’s family home and a priest will perform a Shinto ritual to placate Oiwa.

Don’t cheat or steal someone else’s partner and you should be fine.

General information

I can’t find any information on what happens to Iyemon and Oiwa’s baby, but presumably it doesn’t end well.

Articles

Watch out for Yurei

Above Top Secret

Rice Cracker Review (Yurei and Feminist Theory)

Scapegoat (game)

Image

(c)  google images. All images remain the property of their 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

  • Please note that I have credited the original source (the one I found first) Synchros for this post, but I have found additional blog entries with slight deviations. I have included some of these deviations where I feel they enhance the game.
  • This game is very similar to Hitori Kakurenbo, which I’ve previously talked about on this blog. According to the source the difference lies in the dolls reaction. Instead of confronting you, if it discovers your hiding place it will be smiling at the end of the game. The source also states that this game is far more dangerous than One Man Hide and Seek, so proceed with caution. Also note that I personally feel that playing this game in your own home would be a big mistake and should ideally be avoided.
  • Hide the scapegoat very well. Some sources claim that it is very dangerous for the other doll to obtain your hair. Some suggest hiding it within a series of boxes, like a set of Russian dolls.
  • Please note, the longer the game goes on, the more likely the doll is to find you. Most sources suggest starting with one or two minutes as you can play this game again.
  • You must play alone.
  • Do not make a sound while the original doll is searching for you.
  • Do not run away without finishing the game properly.
  • Do not leave the house while playing.
  • End the game before the sun comes up. Do not play for too long or the doll may find you.
  • If you choose to replay the game use completely new materials and do not hide the scapegoat or yourself in the same place.
  • Once the game has started never cross between the mirrors.

Equipment

  • Two tall mirrors that you don’t mind destroying.
  • A humanoid doll that isn’t smiling.
  • A second doll to use as a scapegoat.
  • An alarm clock.
  • A candle of any colour except black or red.
  • A blindfold.
  • A single hair strand.
  • Five spoonfuls of salt (doesn’t say whether table or teaspoon size, but given the amount you need I would suggest the former).

Steps

  • Place the mirrors facing each other with the unlit candle in the middle.
  • The scapegoat doll functions as a distraction so tie your hair onto it as tightly as possible.
  • Hide this doll well. It should be far away from your intended hiding spot, but near the other doll. It gives you time to hide which is why it must be closer to the other doll than you are.
  • At midnight go to the room with the mirrors and the candle.
  • Set the alarm for however long you intend to play the game.
  • Say 5 times, ‘I will leave a new body here for you in the shape of a doll.’
  • Place the original doll in front of the candle.
  • Now say, ‘let’s play,’ 5 more times.
  • You may feel strange or uncomfortable at this point, which means things are going as they should. If you feel any sense of pressure on your body you must immediately abort the game. The spirit is attempting to possess you instead of the doll.
  • If you wish to abort the game sprinkle salt and basil on both the mirrors and both dolls. The dolls should be salted and burned before you move the mirrors. Once you have done this, place the ashes of the dolls into running water, as far from your home as possible. The mirrors should be taken apart, salted and destroyed, as far from each other as possible.
  • Assuming that you wish to proceed, keep the salt with you.
  • Now say, ‘find me please. I allow x (you know the drill, replace x with desired amount of time). Once the alarm sounds, your power fades and you must return from where you came. If you win, I offer my life as tribute.’
  • Start the alarm.
  • Cover the dolls eyes with the blindfold and say, ‘the game begins.’
  • Head to your hiding spot, sprinkling a little of the salt on yourself, without leaving a trail. Hide. One variation suggests creating a salt circle around yourself once you are in your hiding place and remaining in it until the alarm sounds. Do not leave the hiding place until the end of the game.
  • The original doll should now be searching for the scapegoat.
  • Once the game is over you should take your remaining salt and go to the room with the mirrors and candle.
  • In front of the candle you say, ‘you lose, the game is done. Thank you for playing.’
  • Sprinkle salt on yourself and blow out the candle.
  • Now try to find the original doll and the scapegoat. Sprinkle salt on both.
  • The original source suggests that within three days you should send the original doll to a shrine so that they can perform a ritual to soothe the spirit. If this is not possible, I would destroy it. Destroy the scapegoat, but reclaim your hair before doing so and burn that too.
  • Dispose of the mirrors, as detailed above.
  • Smudge through every room of the house. Some suggest leaving offerings for the spirit before you do this as a way of appeasing it.
  • Please note, if at the end of the game the doll is smiling it means she found you and your life is in grave danger. You should avoid lingering in dark places and continue to smudge the rooms every day until you feel safe. Also avoid looking for long into mirrors or reflective surfaces.

Related articles

Safety First

The usual warning about candles left unattended.

Risk level

High to oh my gosh, I’m going to die.

Would I Play

Nope. I won’t play any games that require the use of blood or hair.

Morrow Road

In the late 1800’s in Michigan a mother (possibly with the initials L.C.) and child vanished from their home, the child first and the mother soon after. Many say that the boy was kidnapped and in attempting to retrieve him, the mother was also taken. Some speculate that the mother went in search of her missing child along Morrow road and met with a terrible fate – possibly from the same person/entity that took her son. Locals claim to have seen the mother wandering along the road late at night in search of her missing child.

These days the road is paved, but at the time it would have been little more than an unlit dirt path winding in between the trees. As with many legends, while the place remains fixed other details vary depending on who is telling the story. In another version the boy drowned while his mother was distracted and in her grief she hung herself from a nearby tree. Some claim the mother has bloody hands, perhaps a sign of guilt.

Others have claimed to hear a boy weeping late at night, although subsequent investigation found no trace of a child. Some claim that the whole area is cursed and that the child was not the first to vanish there, although it is impossible to substantiate this due to the time that has elapsed. In yet another version someone broke into the house they lived in and murdered them both – although this doesn’t explain why most versions have the boy vanishing first and the mother at a later point.

Some state the mother and son were camping in the woods. The mother fell asleep by the fire and when she woke her son was gone. This is perhaps why local teenagers believe you can see her face in the flames of a fire if it is lit in the same woods. Or did she freeze to death while searching for her son who had wandered off during a winter storm? Who knows.

A lesser known version includes a creature called the Morrow Road monster. This theory was most popular in the 1950’s, but has died out since. In this version there is a monster lurking in the woods that likes to eat children. It is said that it hibernates for much of the time, but awakes at certain points in order to feed. The mother and son were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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