Horror Games

15 Most Horrific & The Best Scary Games To Play In Real Life Alone Or With Friends

The allure of playing scary games in the real world is undeniable. The soft flicker of a candle, a chilling reflection in a mirror, or the suspenseful button press in a paranormal elevator game – these experiences aren’t just for the brave but for anyone seeking a thrill.

Imagine a sleepover where the lights are off, and a group of friends gather to test their courage. Will you dare to summon spirits like Bloody Mary, or play Hide and Seek with a ghostly twist? Perhaps you’d prefer the gravity-defying sensation of the “light as a feather, stiff as a board” game? For those who relish a good spooky tale, this curated list of super scary games promises a pulse-quickening experience.

However, a word of caution: while these games offer adrenaline-packed fun, legends and eerie tales surround them. Some claim genuine paranormal encounters, others deem them harmless fun. But whatever your stance, one thing remains, they offer excitement that traditional games can’t.

Game Description Key Elements
Bloody Mary A mirror horror game played in a dark bathroom. Candle, chanting "Bloody Mary", mirror gazing.
Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board Classic sleepover game involving lifting a person with fingertips. Group chanting, lifting using fingertips.
The Midnight Game A paranormal ritual involving a candle and avoiding the Midnight Man. Candle, name on paper, avoiding Midnight Man.
The Elevator Game Ascending to another world in an elevator. Elevator in a building, button sequence, another dimension.
The Ouija Board Communicating with spirits using a board. Quiet location, planchette, spirit communication.
The Candyman Challenge Summoning a spirit in a mirror. Dark room, mirror, chanting "Candyman".
The Three Kings Accessing the shadow side in a dark room. Chairs setup, mirrors, questions to the unknown.
The Hooded Man Ritual Phantom cab ride to another world. Prepared telephone, black cab, mysterious journey.
The Dark Reflection Ritual Boosting luck by breaking a mirror. Mirror gazing, breaking the mirror, experiencing bad luck.
The Baby Blue Challenge A haunting lullaby game involving an invisible baby. Bathroom setting, rocking motion, chanting phrase.
One Man Hide and Seek Playing hide and seek with a spirit-possessed doll. Doll with rice, bathtub, hiding from the doll.
Sara Sarita The dangerous coin game with spirits. Two players, coin toss, asking "Sara Sarita".
Charlie Charlie The pencil game to ask questions to a spirit. Game board, pencils, summoning Charlie.
The Red Book Game Seeking answers from a red book. Quiet room, candle, questions to the book.
Hide and Clap Blindfolded hide and seek with clapping. Blindfold, clapping to locate hiders.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

Bloody Mary: A Mirror Horror Game

scary games to play in real life

Looking for a scary game to play at your next sleepover? ‘Bloody Mary’ is an age-old challenge that promises a chilling thrill. To play this game, follow these steps:

How to Play:

  1. Preparation: Find a dark bathroom and place a candle in front of the mirror. Light the candle. This creates an eerie ambiance, perfect for the game.
  2. Invocation: Close your eyes and stand in front of the mirror. Slowly chant “Bloody Mary” three times. Some versions insist on a more extended repetition, but three is the most common number.
  3. The Reveal: Open your eyes and stare into the mirror. Legend has it that an apparition, believed to be Bloody Mary herself, might appear.
  4. Conclusion: Whether you spot something paranormal or not, when you’re done, remember to blow out the candle and turn on the lights immediately. This step is crucial to symbolically return to the real world and leave the game behind.

Origins and History:

The game of ‘Bloody Mary’ is not just a sleepover game played for fun with your friends; it has deep cultural and historical roots. The origins of the Bloody Mary legend are somewhat muddled, with various theories linking it to historical figures like Queen Mary I of England. She earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” due to her persecution of Protestants.

The game itself seems to have ties to older fortune-telling games played by young women. They hoped to see the face of their future husband in the mirror, though there was always a risk of seeing the Grim Reaper if they were destined to die before marrying.

Over the years, the game evolved, incorporating elements of horror and becoming a staple at sleepovers. It serves as a rite of passage for many, testing one’s bravery and the ability to face the unknown.

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board: The Classic Sleepover Game

scary games to play in real life

‘Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board’ has been a favorite scary game to play at sleepovers for decades. Here’s how to play this chilling game with friends in real life:

How to Play:

  1. Setup: Choose one player to lie down on the floor, preferably in a dark room. This person is the “body.” The rest of the friends sit around them, placing two fingers (from each hand) beneath the body.
  2. Chanting: Close your eyes and, in unison, chant the words “Light as a feather, stiff as a board” repeatedly.
  3. Lifting: As the chanting continues, try lifting the person using just your fingertips. If done right, the “body” seems to become as light as a feather and rises with surprising ease.
  4. Conclusion: Gently lower the person back to the ground. Open your eyes, turn on the lights, and revel in the amazement and possible spookiness of what just occurred.

The Science Behind It:

So, how does this game work? And why do people feel like their body is floating?

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that this game is less about the paranormal and more about the power of physics and psychology. When everyone lifts simultaneously, the weight of the person is distributed evenly among all the participants, making it seem as if the body is much lighter than expected.

Psychologically, the chanting helps to synchronize everyone’s efforts, ensuring everyone lifts at precisely the same time. The dark room and the repetitive nature of the chant create a heightened state of focus and suggestibility. This can enhance the sensation for the person being lifted, making them feel like they’re floating or being lifted higher than they are.

It’s one of those games that beautifully blend the fun of play with an almost magical feel, making it a sleepover favorite. While it might not be the scariest of scary games or shrouded in deep cultural legends like ‘Bloody Mary’, its simplicity and the genuine wonder it evokes make it a timeless choice for those looking to add a touch of mystery to their night.

The Midnight Game: A Paranormal Ritual

scary games to play in real life

The Midnight Game is not just any scary game to play; it’s a heart-pounding ritual that requires bravery, a candle, and a strong belief in the supernatural.

How to Play:

  1. Preparation: Before midnight, write your full name on a piece of paper and prick your finger to place a drop of blood on the same paper.
  2. Setup: Turn off all the lights in your home. Light the candle and place it on top of the paper with your name. Stand in front of the door, knock 22 times, ensuring the last knock lands precisely at midnight.
  3. Summoning: Open the door, blow out the candle, and close it again. Immediately relight the candle. This action is believed to invite the Midnight Man into your home.
  4. Survival: Now, your primary goal is to avoid the Midnight Man. Keep your candle lit as you roam your dark house. If your candle goes out, it means the Midnight Man is near. You have 10 seconds to relight it. If you fail, surround yourself with a circle of salt for protection.
  5. Ending the Game: The game lasts until 3:33 AM. At that time, the Midnight Man will leave, and you can safely turn on the lights. If you’ve avoided him, congratulations; you’ve won the game.

Origins and History:

The Midnight Game is believed to have its roots in pagan rituals and was supposedly used as a punishment for those who dared to defy the gods. Over the years, its origins have been clouded by urban legends, with some suggesting it might have originated in Japan, while others believe it’s a more recent internet-born myth.

While it’s often listed among the best scary games to play at sleepovers, it’s essential to remember that dabbling in the unknown might have unforeseen consequences. Play responsibly and always prioritize safety. Whether it’s a mere psychological trick or something more paranormal, the thrill of playing in the dark, facing your fears, and testing your bravery is what continues to draw people to games like The Midnight Game.

The Elevator Game: Ascending to Another World

scary games to play in real life

Daring souls seeking a game to play that’s both eerie and enigmatic might find The Elevator Game intriguing. Originating from the vast cultural lore of horror games, many believe it may have its roots in Japan, where urban legends and paranormal games are plentiful.

How to Play:

  1. Choose Your Elevator: For this scary game, you need an elevator in a building with at least 10 floors. Ensure you’re the only person in the elevator.
  2. Button Sequence: Begin by pressing the 1st-floor button. Once the elevator reaches the first floor, press the button for the fourth floor. Repeat this process in the following sequence: 2-6-2-10-5.
  3. Another Dimension: If done correctly, when you press the button for the fifth floor, a woman may enter the elevator. Do not look at her; she’s not what she seems. After she enters, press the button for the first floor. The elevator will either ascend or descend. If it descends, you’ve safely returned to the real world. If it ascends, you’re on your way to the other dimension.
  4. Returning: If you’ve reached the other dimension, press the button for the first floor to return. It’s essential to use the same elevator to ensure you come back to the real world.

Possible Outcomes:

The Elevator Game isn’t just another fun game to play with friends during sleepovers; it’s among the list of scary games known to evoke strong feelings and possibly supernatural experiences.

  1. Return to the Real World: Most often, players find themselves safely back in the world they know, perhaps a bit shaken but with a thrilling story to tell.
  2. Encounter Mysterious Entities: Some claim that, in the other dimension, they encounter entities or experience a world similar to ours but darker and devoid of life. The woman who enters the elevator is believed to be one of these entities, and it’s crucial never to interact with her.

The Ouija Board: Communicating with Spirits

scary games to play in real life

Embarking on a journey into the unknown can be equal parts thrilling and eerie. Among the list of scary games to play, the Ouija Board stands out as one of the most legendary and, for some, the scariest of scary games. Used as a conduit to communicate with spirits, this board game has been a popular yet controversial tool for seekers of the paranormal.

Guidelines for Safe Play:


  1. Select a Quiet Location: Choose a dark room, free from distractions. Ensure the room is peaceful, and if possible, light a candle to create an ambient environment.
  2. Gather Players: This game can be played alone, but it’s more fun to play with friends. A group of friends can provide added energy and reassurance.
  3. Place the Board: Position the Ouija Board on a table or the floor, ensuring it’s stable. If you’re playing with friends, everyone should sit around it in a circle.

Playing the Game:

  1. Starting the Session: All players should gently place their index and middle fingers on the planchette. Someone should then ask if there are spirits willing to communicate. Wait for the planchette to move.
  2. Ask Questions: Once you feel the presence of a spirit, you may begin to ask questions. It’s essential to be respectful and patient. Some spirits might not be willing to answer all the questions.
  3. Closing the Session: Always end your Ouija session by moving the planchette to “GOODBYE.” This ensures that any spirit you’ve been communicating with is no longer connected to the board.

The Legend Behind Ouija:

The Ouija Board, often seen in horror movies and associated with paranormal events, is rooted in ancient civilizations. Many cultures believed in the power of the board as a fortune-telling game. The modern version, which many know today, originated in the late 19th century as a parlor game.

Over the years, the board has been surrounded by numerous tales and stories. Some claim it’s a powerful tool that opens portals to other realms, while skeptics see it as a fun game to play with friends during sleepovers, attributing its movements to psychological effects.

Whatever you believe, it’s undeniable that the Ouija Board has cemented its place in cultural lore. Whether you’re planning a sleepover or looking for games to play in real life that offer a touch of the supernatural, the Ouija Board remains a compelling choice. But, always remember to approach it with respect and caution. After all, it’s one of those games that will leave a lasting impression.

The Candyman Challenge: Summoning a Spirit

scary games to play in real life

When it comes to games that will leave you with chills, The Candyman Challenge is up there with the best scary games to play. As with many paranormal games, it’s a blend of age-old legends and modern myths, creating an atmosphere that many find irresistible during sleepovers or dark, stormy nights.

How to Play:

Setting the Scene:

  1. Choose the Right Spot: Find a room with a mirror. Ideally, a dark bathroom sets the perfect mood, but any room with a mirror in front will do.
  2. Dim the Lights: Turn off all the lights, allowing only the faintest glow. If you wish, light a candle and place it in front of the mirror. This creates an eerie ambiance and supposedly attracts the spirit.
  3. Prepare Yourself: Some believe that the game works best when played alone, while others prefer the company of friends for support. Decide on your preference, and if you’re playing with friends in real life, have them either join in the chant or stand silent as witnesses.

Summoning the Spirit:

  1. Stand in Front of the Mirror: With a steady gaze, look deeply into your reflection.
  2. Chant: Slowly and clearly, repeat the name “Candyman” five times. Many believe that by doing so, you’re inviting the spirit to appear in the mirror.
  3. Wait: Open your eyes (if they were closed) and look for any signs of the Candyman’s presence or other paranormal activities.

The True Story Behind the Candyman Challenge:

The Candyman Challenge, like many scary games to play, has its roots in folklore and urban legends. While modern interpretations, especially those popularized by horror movies, present the Candyman as a vengeful spirit with a hook for a hand, the origins are more complex.

Some tales suggest the game originated in regions with deep-rooted beliefs in the spirit world, possibly even Japan, while others believe it’s a more modern creation, born from the telling of scary stories at sleepovers.

While the game’s origins may be murky, the thrill it offers is undeniable. If you’re planning a sleepover with friends, or simply looking for a game to play that promises a heart-pounding experience, the Candyman Challenge is one you might consider. But, like all paranormal games, it’s essential to play with respect and caution, understanding the line between fun and reality.

The Three Kings: Accessing the Shadow Side

scary games to play in real life

For those who love delving into the mysterious and the unknown, “The Three Kings” is a super scary game to play. Originating from the depths of the internet, this game has now made its way into the list of scary games many seek out during sleepovers or dare nights. A mix of psychological thriller and paranormal challenge, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

How to Play:

  1. Choose the Right Room: A quiet, dark room is preferable. Make sure the room is near your bedroom and has enough space to set up three chairs.
  2. Setting the Chairs: Position one chair in the center as your throne, facing north, and the other two facing it as your queen and fool.
  3. The Candle and Mirror: Place two mirrors on the queen’s and fool’s chair, preferably sitting at a 90 degree angle. Chairs must be placed so that you’re able to see your reflection from the corner of your eye.
  4. A Bucket and a Fan: Place a bucket of water and a mug in front of the throne’s chair and a fan behind it. The fan must be turned on and facing your throne. Don’t set it too high.
  5. The Bedroom: Turn off the lights and go to your bedroom, leave the door of the room with chairs open. Set a candle, a lighter, and a phone beside your bedroom (the phone must be charged) and set the alarm at 3:30 am. Hold your “power object”, the object of sentimental value.
  6. Proceed with a Game: When the alarm rings, you have exactly 3 minutes to light the candle, grab your phone, and go to your throne in a room with chairs. Do not turn on the light. You should be on your throne at 3:33 am. Don’t forget your candle and your “power object.”
  7. Check for Irregularities: If your alarm didn’t go off at 3:30 am, you didn’t get to the chair room by 3:33 am, your phone didn’t charge, the doors you left opened are closed, or the fan is turned off, do not proceed, but you must leave the house with all others in it.
  8. Sit on Your Throne: If everything is OK, proceed and sit on your throne. Look straight ahead, do not look directly into mirrors or candles, and don’t let your candle go out.
  9. Ask Questions: If you have any questions, ask them now. If you receive a response you’ll receive it from a queen or a fool. Do not look at the mirrors. Don’t leave your throne until 4:34 am.

What Players Have Experienced:

Many who dare to play this game report various experiences. Some feel the heavy presence of unseen entities, often describing them as “kingly” or “royal.” Others have recounted hearing whispers, distant conversations, or even direct responses to their thoughts.

A few brave souls have claimed to have been transported to another realm, with landscapes filled with sand or vast stretches of nothingness. While some believe it’s just the mind playing tricks due to the dark setting and the anticipation, others swear by the authenticity of their otherworldly experiences.

Playing The Three Kings is more than just a sleepover game; it’s an exploration into the unknown. If you and your friends in real life are planning to embark on this adventure, remember always to prioritize safety and to be respectful of the spirits and entities you might encounter. Enjoy the thrill, but know when to return to the real world.

The Hooded Man Ritual: Phantom Cab Ride

scary games to play in real life

If you’re always on the hunt for the scariest of scary games to play, then “The Hooded Man Ritual” might just be the chilling adventure you’re seeking. This game promises a surreal experience, more than just the usual hide and seek in the dark or whispering chants in front of a mirror. But remember, like many paranormal games, it’s not to be taken lightly.

Getting Ready:

  1. Pick a Room: Choose a room for the game, ideally at night. If playing with friends, only one person needs to do these steps.
  2. Sit by a Phone: Sit near a prepared telephone.
  3. Count to Thirteen: Quietly count to 13.
  4. Dial a Mysterious Number: With the phone still on the hook, dial 20496888.
  5. Tie a Black Cord: Attach one black cord to the phone’s handset.
  6. Lift and Dial Again: Use the cord to lift the handset and dial 25515823.
  7. More Counting: Count to 13, then set the handset down (not on the cradle).
  8. Speak Up: Lean in and say, “Hi, I need a cab.”
  9. Switch Cords: Untie the first cord and attach the second one.

The Journey to Another World:

  1. Head Outside: Walk outside your house.
  2. Look for a Black Cab: If there’s a black cab with lights on, get in (with friends if they’re playing). If it’s locked, don’t try to enter; it’s not the right cab.
  3. Get Comfy: Once inside, lock the doors and settle in. You’ll fall asleep in about 70 seconds.
  4. Curious Findings: Peek under the driver’s seat for an iron hook and dirty spoon.
  5. Wake-Up Check: After waking up, check your watch. If it’s not 3:30 am, leave the cab, return to your room, and burn the cords.
  6. Second Slumber: If it is 3:30 am, you’ll fall asleep again.
  7. Mysterious Driver: Upon waking, you’ll find the cab moving with a hooded man driving in a dark place.
  8. Time to Return: To go back, tell the driver, “I have reached my destination.”
  9. Back to Start: You’ll wake up where you started, in front of the phone.
  10. Final Call: Dial 200082 and say, “Thank you for the ride.”
  11. Destroy the Cord: Burn the second cord to finish.

Potential Dangers:

“The Hooded Man Ritual,” as one of the best scary games to play, is also among the most risky. Here’s what you might want to know:

  1. The Cab’s Other Passengers: While you are on this ride, you may not be alone. There are tales of other entities joining mid-way. It’s advised never to interact or acknowledge them.
  2. Disturbing Visions: Some players have reported witnessing disturbing events and visions during their ride, things they wish they could forget for the rest of their lives.
  3. The Hooded Man: The driver, often referred to as the Hooded Man, shouldn’t be interacted with during the ride. Acknowledging him might lead to unforeseen consequences.
  4. After-effects: Many players experience a sense of unease, paranoia, and sometimes even feel watched long after playing the game.

The Dark Reflection Ritual: Boosting Your Luck?

scary games to play in real life

For those who love a good scary game to play with friends, “The Dark Reflection Ritual” offers a thrilling twist on the concept of luck. Whether you’re looking for games to play at a sleepover or something more solitary, this ritual beckons those brave enough to challenge the conventional notions of fortune and misfortune.

How to Play:

  1. Timing is Key: Start your spooky adventure precisely at midnight.
  2. Mirror Gaze: Stand before a mirror and lock eyes with your reflection for a solid 10 seconds.
  3. Foggy Reflection: Gently breathe into the mirror until it fogs up.
  4. Group Participation: If you’re not alone, ensure each friend repeats the mirror gazing and fogging step.
  5. Candle Power: Use a candle flame to slightly burn the mirror, aiming for a small, black mark.
  6. Shattered Reality: Courageously break the mirror to unleash the ritual’s full effect.
  7. Quick Exit: Once the mirror is broken, leave the room immediately – things are about to get spooky!
  8. A Night of Misfortune: Brace yourself! From this point until 6 AM, expect a string of bad luck. It starts small but escalates into more intense, potentially scary events.
  9. Dawn of Good Fortune: As the clock strikes 6 AM, the night’s terrors end. What awaits is a streak of good luck – a rewarding end to your daring game.

Things to Watch Out For:

  1. Shadow Figures: Some players report seeing shadowy figures darting around after breaking the mirror. It’s believed these are manifestations of the released energy.
  2. Whispers and Chants: Keep an ear out for inexplicable whispers or distant chants. This paranormal game has been said to bridge the gap between our world and another, more sinister realm.
  3. The Temptation of Light: A major challenge for players is resisting the urge to turn on the lights, especially when fear takes over. Lighting a candle, however, is permissible, but beware – it might attract unwanted attention.
  4. Unexplained Cold: A sudden drop in temperature or a cold breeze despite closed windows and doors is a common occurrence, signaling the presence of something otherworldly.
  5. Mirror Fragments: Be wary of the broken shards. Some believe they become conduits for spirits or energies, especially if they catch your reflection during the game.

The Baby Blue Challenge: A Haunting Lullaby

scary games to play in real life

Dive into a world where chants echo in the darkness and legends come to life. The Baby Blue Challenge is not just any scary game to play; it’s a journey into the annals of folklore. Perfect for sleepovers or those nights when you’re feeling particularly brave, this game tests your mettle and challenges you to face the unknown.


  1. Prep Your Bathroom: Choose a night to play this game. Head to your bathroom, turn off all lights, and lock the door. Stand facing the bathroom mirror.

  2. Rock the Invisible Baby: Imagine you’re holding a baby. Gently rock your arms back and forth in front of the mirror. As you do this, softly repeat the phrase “Blue baby, baby blue” 13 times.

  3. Stay Calm and Alert: You might start feeling a weight in your arms, or even a scratching sensation. Don’t panic, stay focused and alert.

  4. Quick Exit: As soon as you feel the scratching, act fast! Pretend to drop the weight into the toilet, flush it, unlock the door, and leave the bathroom quickly. If you exit without any issues, you’ve successfully completed the challenge!

Where the Legend Comes From:

This chilling game can trace its roots back to various urban legends and folklore tales, intertwining with stories of lost children and mourning mothers. Some say it’s an offshoot of the more widely known “Bloody Mary” tale, while others believe it stems from a standalone narrative of a woman who lost her child under tragic circumstances.

The concept of using mirrors as portals to other realms is prevalent in many cultures. In Japan, certain horror games like the “picture game” involve mirrors, and tales of mirror-based summonings are not uncommon.

Many consider the Baby Blue Challenge as one of the best scary games to play with friends, mainly because of its simplicity and the chilling sensations it evokes. Whether it’s for the thrill or the curiosity of testing the legend, those who embark on this challenge often leave with tales that last a lifetime.

One Man Hide and Seek: Playing with Ghosts

scary games to play in real life

The thrill of hide and seek takes a darker turn in this game, elevating the stakes and the chills. Originating from Japan, this game has found its way to many sleepovers and late-night gatherings, becoming one of the best scary games to play. Ideal for the brave-hearted, One Man Hide and Seek offers an unmatched paranormal experience.

How to Play:

  1. Preparation: Remove the stuffing from a doll and refill it with rice. Add a few clipped pieces of your nails inside the doll and sew it up using crimson thread. Finally, wrap the doll with the remaining thread.

  2. Set the Stage: Fill a bathtub with water and place a cup of salt water on the ground in your chosen hiding spot.

  3. Naming the Doll: Give your doll a name (any name but yours).

  4. Starting the Game (3 AM): At 3 AM, announce that you are “it” by saying your name three times to the doll.

  5. Doll in the Water: Place the doll in the bathtub filled with water.

  6. Lights Off, TV On: Turn off all lights in the house, return to your hiding spot, and switch on the TV.

  7. Seek the Doll: Count to ten with your eyes closed, then with an edged tool in hand, find and stab the doll in the bathtub while declaring, “I have found you, [doll’s name].”

  8. The Chase: Announce the doll as “it” and leave it on the bathroom counter. Then quickly return to your hiding place.

  9. Ending the Game: Holding salt water in your mouth (without swallowing), find the doll (it may have moved), pour the remaining salt water on it, and then spit out the salt water in your mouth onto it.

  10. Final Declaration: Declare “I win” three times to officially end the game.

Reports from Players:

While it’s a game originated in Japan, it has garnered attention globally, with players sharing spine-chilling tales of their experiences. Some have reported feeling like their body is being watched or followed, while others have mentioned soft whispers and cold breezes in the room.

However, it’s also worth noting that not all experiences are negative. Some players have felt a playful energy, likening it to playing hide and seek with a friendly spirit.

Sara Sarita: The Dangerous Coin Game

scary games to play in real life

The landscape of scary games to play, especially during sleepovers, is vast and varied. Among the list of scary games, there’s one that’s particularly intriguing and stands out due to its simplistic yet mysterious nature – Sara Sarita. Stemming perhaps from a mix of fortune-telling games and paranormal elements, this game can be played in real life, adding to its allure for those seeking a real thrill.

Steps to Play:

  1. Gather Your Group: You’ll need two players for this game, but more people can be around to watch.

  2. Coin Requirement: Each player needs a coin of the same type.

  3. Asking Permission: Sit opposite each other and ask together, “Sara Sarita, may I enter your game?”

  4. Coin Toss: Toss your coins over your shoulder. Look for the result. If both are heads, you’re good to go. Both tails? Better not to proceed. If it happens repeatedly, apologize and leave the room. One head and one tail? Be cautious and consider asking permission again.

  1. The Conversation Phase: Only ask yes or no questions, starting each with “Sara Sarita.”

  2. Coin Responses: Toss the coins after each question. Both heads mean “Yes.” Both tails mean “No.” Mixed result? That’s a “Maybe.”

  3. Ending the Questions: When you’re done asking, it’s time for The Farewell.

  4. The Farewell: Say “Sara Sarita, may I leave your game?” together.

  5. Leaving the Game: Toss the coins again. Both heads? You can leave. Any other result? Keep asking until you get permission.

  6. Post-Game: Keep your coins safe and don’t spend them. Follow these rules as described.

Things Players Have Faced:

As with many paranormal games, experiences vary. Some say they feel like their body is charged with energy, while others get trapped, receiving ‘No’ answers repeatedly when asking to leave, leading to feelings of unease and panic.

Several players have recounted getting eerie and accurate responses to personal questions, making them wonder about the game’s true nature. Whispered voices and cold gusts of air are also among the chilling phenomena reported.

There’s also a sense of feeling watched or not being alone in the room, adding layers of suspense to the experience. Some players have even mentioned a need to turn on the lights immediately after playing, unable to shake off the feeling of being observed.

Charlie Charlie: The Pencil Game

scary games to play in real life

Among the vast universe of scary games to play, especially those that can add a spooky touch to sleepovers, there’s the intriguing “Charlie Charlie” or more commonly known as “The Pencil Game.” It’s one of those games you can play with friends in real life, seeking a paranormal thrill without the need for elaborate setups. If you’re brave enough and curious about the best scary games to play, continue reading.

How to Play:

  1. Prepare Your Game Board: On a blank sheet of paper, draw a large cross using a pencil or pen, creating four equal sections. Use a ruler for straight lines, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect.

  2. Label the Boxes: Think of a question you want to ask. In each of the four boxes, write a possible answer. For yes-or-no questions, just write “Yes” in two boxes and “No” in the other two.

  3. Set Up the Pencils: Place one pencil along the line of the cross on the paper. Then, carefully balance another pencil on top of it, making sure it’s aligned but not touching the paper.

  4. Summon Charlie: Start the game by asking aloud, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” Watch the pencils. If the top one moves, Charlie is ready to play.

  5. Ask Your Question: Now, ask the question you’ve prepared. Speak clearly and watch the top pencil for any movement, indicating Charlie’s answer.

  6. Repeat if Needed: If the pencil doesn’t move, try asking again or consider moving to a different location. Charlie might be more responsive elsewhere.

  7. Close the Game: After getting your answer, end the session by chanting, “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” This is said to send Charlie back and close any opened spiritual doors.

Origins and Controversies:

Charlie Charlie, believed by some to have origins in a Mexican fortune-telling game, is actually a more modern concoction that gained popularity online. This game originated not from ancient rituals but from the virality of the internet.

The game works based on a delicate balance; the slightest air movement can cause the top pencil to shift, leading to the answers. But the suspense and atmosphere, especially when played in a dark room with friends, make it seem eerily real.

The popularity of Charlie Charlie surged when numerous videos of people playing the game flooded the internet, with some showcasing spooky occurrences. This boom led to debates about its authenticity, with skeptics attributing the pencil’s movement to simple physics.

The Red Book Game: Seeking Answers

scary games to play in real life

As night falls and a group of friends gather around, looking for spine-chilling games to play at a sleepover, the Red Book Game often emerges as a top contender. Touted as one of the best scary games to play, its mysterious allure pulls participants into a realm of the unknown. While it might sound like a simple fortune-telling game, many have found it to be much more than that.

How to Play:

  1. Prepare the Space: Find a quiet room, draw the curtains, and turn off the lights. Gather your friends and sit in a circle.
  2. Set the Mood: Place a candle (or candles) in the center of the circle and light them for a spooky atmosphere.
  3. Start the Game: Each player must place their hand on the book’s cover, close their eyes, and ask aloud, “Red Book, may I enter your game?”
  4. Seeking Permission: While keeping your eyes closed, open the book to a random page and put your finger on a spot. Read the sentence under your finger once you open your eyes. This is your answer. If the answer is unclear or negative, you’re not in the game yet. Try asking again. If the answer is clear and positive, you’re in!
  5. Ask Your Questions: Now, it’s time to ask the Red Book your personal questions. Each player takes turns, repeating the process: Close eyes, touch the book, ask a question, open the book, and then read the answer.
  6. Interpret the Answers: The fun part is interpreting what the answers mean for you. Each player gets their unique response from the book.
  7. Ending the Game: When you’re ready to finish, each player asks, “Red Book, may I leave your game?” using the same process of touching the book, asking, and reading the answer. If the book’s response is unclear or negative, you need to ask again for permission to leave. A clear, positive answer means you’re free to leave the game.
  8. Close the Ritual: Once everyone has permission to leave, close the book, extinguish the candles, open the curtains, and turn on the lights. The game is officially over.

Player Experiences:

Many have found the game to be eerily accurate, with the book’s answers aligning with their questions in uncanny ways. Some recount asking about future events and receiving responses that were either eerily prophetic or thought-provoking. Others speak of a sense of presence or energy in the room, a feeling like they’re not alone.

However, there have also been many light-hearted moments. Some players, likely influenced by the ambiance and their own expectations, interpret vague sentences as profound answers, leading to bouts of laughter among friends.

Hide and Clap: Blindfolded Seek

scary games to play in real life

In the realm of super scary games, Hide and Clap blends the innocence of childhood with a chilling twist. Evoking memories of playing hide and seek with friends in real life, this game takes that familiar concept and elevates it to spine-tingling levels. It’s one of the best scary games to play at a sleepover or when you want to turn a regular evening with friends into an adrenaline-pumping adventure.

How to Play:

  1. Preparation: The game can be played indoors or outdoors. However, ensure the playing area is safe, without any obstacles that could harm the blindfolded person. Dimming the lights, or playing in the dark if outside, enhances the atmosphere.
  2. Choosing the Seeker: One person is chosen as the seeker. The seeker is blindfolded and stands in the center of the playing area, counting aloud to a predetermined number, allowing others to hide.
  3. The Search Begins: Once the counting is finished, the seeker shouts, “Ready or not, here I come!” Instead of the regular search, the seeker asks the hiders to clap their hands. The hiders must clap once, and the seeker then tries to locate them based on the sound.
  4. Winning the Game: The game continues until the seeker has found everyone or gives up. The first person found becomes the seeker in the next round.

Variations for Extra Thrill:

  1. Silent Movement: Allow hiders to move silently. If the seeker hears movement but can’t find the hider, they can ask for a clap to help pinpoint their location.
  2. Limited Claps: Hiders only get three claps for the entire game, making it more challenging for the seeker.
  3. Chant Addition: The seeker can chant a phrase like, “Show me the light,” or “Come out, come out, wherever you are,” adding an eerie ambiance.
  4. Mirrored Challenge: Place a mirror in front of the seeker. Hiders can flash a light briefly, giving the seeker a split-second glimpse of their reflection.
  5. Sound Distractions: Introduce random sounds in the game, like a knock on the door or rustling papers, to divert the seeker.
  6. Elevated Hide and Clap: For those brave enough, play this game in locations known for spooky stories or histories. The added element of a potential paranormal encounter makes this one of the scariest of scary games.


We’d like to emphasize that the games listed are geared towards mature participants. They delve into themes and experiences that some individuals might find unsettling or disturbing. It’s essential to approach these games with caution and be aware of your own boundaries and comfort levels. Remember, it’s always okay to step back if something feels too intense. Your safety and well-being come first. Play responsibly and at your own discretion.

Stay Safe and Have Fun

Stay Safe Have Fun
Play in a well-lit and familiar environment. Avoid games that may cause physical harm or psychological distress.
Establish clear boundaries and communication when playing with friends. Take breaks if feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Remove tripping hazards and ensure emergency exits are accessible. Respect everyone's limits and comfort levels.
Communicate with fellow players about fears and concerns. Remember it's just a game and not real.

When it comes to playing scary games, it’s essential to prioritize safety while still having a great time. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Play in a well-lit and familiar environment to minimize the chances of accidents or disorientation.
  2. Avoid games that may cause physical harm or psychological distress. Remember, the goal is to have fun, not to put yourself in danger.
  3. If you’re playing with friends, establish clear boundaries and communication to ensure everyone feels comfortable and respected.
  4. Take breaks if you feel overwhelmed or anxious during gameplay. Remember, it’s okay to step away and regroup.
  5. Lastly, be mindful of your own limits and those of others. Each person may have different comfort levels when it comes to scary games, so always prioritize everyone’s well-being.

Creating a Safe Environment

When setting up your play space, consider these suggestions to create a safe and enjoyable environment:

Prioritizing Emotional Well-Being

Scary games can evoke intense emotions. Here are some tips to take care of your emotional well-being during gameplay:


The allure of scary games lies in their blend of legend, suspense, and the thrill of the unknown. From tales whispered in dimly lit rooms to chilling challenges played with friends, they offer a unique form of entertainment. Many derive from ancient folklore or modern urban legends, with some said to have originated from distant cultures like Japan. These games can transform a regular sleepover into a night of spine-tingling adventures.

However, the thrill of these games should never overshadow safety. As you dive into the world of horror games, remember to always prioritize well-being. Be brave, but also be wise. Whether you’re lighting a candle in a dark room, playing a modern rendition of hide and seek, or sharing eerie tales, always remember to distinguish between fiction and reality. Engage responsibly, understand the boundaries of fun, and ensure that everyone is comfortable. After all, games are meant for enjoyment. Stay safe and happy haunting!

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Playing Scary Games

Most of these games are rooted in folklore, urban legends, and cultural stories. While they are often played for the thrill and fun of it, some people believe in their real paranormal implications. However, the majority view them as entertaining challenges that play with our fears and imagination.

Some good scary games to play with friends include The Ouija Board, Bloody Mary game, and Hide and Clap game.

Safety first! Always ensure that the environment is safe, free from any hazards, and that players are aware of their surroundings. If candles or matches are involved, handle them with care to avoid accidents. It’s essential to ensure that everyone is comfortable and willing participants, and it’s always a good idea to establish a safe word or gesture in case someone wants to stop.

Yes, there are scary games based on urban legends and rituals. The Midnight Game is a game based on Pagan ritual used as punishment for those who disobeyed the Gods.

The “scariest” game is subjective, as what terrifies one person might not faze another. Popular choices include Bloody Mary, Hide and Clap, and Ouija Board. It’s best to explore and find out which game resonates most with your group.

Some classic sleepover games are Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, The Midnight Game, and Bloody Mary.

Some games are designed to be played solo, while others require multiple participants. If you choose to play alone, always inform someone close to you about it, so they’re aware and can check on you if needed. However, playing with friends often enhances the experience, making it more memorable and communal.

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