Previously: The Three Kings.
It is believed that the Midnight Game was once an old pagan ritual used as a punishment for those who dared to disobey the gods. Or at least, that’s how it’s usually positioned; the claim is dubious, and likely an indication that this particular game originated as creepypasta. (The oldest version of it I’ve been able to find on the internet dates back to August of 2010, for whatever that’s worth.) Still, though, it’s become a popular activity for thrill seekers, largely because it’s easily performed in your own home with minimal supplies.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
As with all of Most Dangerous Games, proceed at your own risk – if you must proceed at all. It is recommended that you do not, under any circumstances, play this game.
- At least one principal.
- One candle.
- A lighter or book of matches.
- A piece of paper.
- A writing implement.
- A pin, sterilized.
- A wooden door, closed.
- Begin prior to midnight.
- Write your full name – first, middle, and last – on the piece of paper with your writing implement. Prick your finger with the pin and squeeze until a drop of blood appears. Dot the blood on the paper and allow it to soak in.
- Turn off every light in your home.
- Place the paper with your name and blood on it in front of the closed wooden door. Light the candle using the matches or lighter and place it on top of the paper. If you are using a taper, make sure it is placed in a candle holder .
- Knock on the door 22 times. The final knock must occur precisely when the clock chimes 12am. Open the door; then blow out the candle and close the door.
- Relight your candle immediately.
The Main Event:
- Keeping your candle in hand and your salt and matches or lighter close by, begin to move about your home.
- Should your candle go out, you must relight it within the next ten seconds. If you are successful, continuing moving about your home. Do not stop moving until 3:33am.
- If you are unsuccessful in relighting the candle, immediately surround yourself with a circle of salt. Remain inside the circle until 3:33am.
- At 3:33am, it is safe to stop moving or to step outside your circle of salt. You may also turn on the lights. The game is over.
The Midnight Game may be played with more than one player. In this instance, all players are principals; as such, each player must perform the Invitation individually.
The Invitation welcomes an entity known as the Midnight Man inside your home. The goal of the game is to avoid meeting the Midnight Man in the dark. Continually moving about your home will make it more difficult for him to find you; should you stop moving at any point, he will catch you. Accounts differ as to what befalls players caught by the Midnight Man. Some claim he will induce a hallucination of your worst fear until the end of the game; others claim he will remove your organs one by one. Both outcomes are to be avoided at all cost.
Indications that the Midnight Man is near include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sudden drops in temperature.
- The sound of a soft whisper with no discernible source.
- The appearance of a humanoid figure within the darkness.
- The candle going out.
Should you experience any of the first three occurrences, leave the area immediately. Should you experience the fourth occurrence, following the previously given instructions, re: relighting the candle within the next ten seconds, will keep the Midnight Man temporarily at bay. Should you fail to perform this action correctly, the circle of salt will do the same.
Do not fail to do either. There are no known methods to abort the game.
At 3:33am, the Midnight Man will leave your home. After he has left, you may safely end the game.
Do NOT turn on any lights during the game.
Do NOT use a flashlight during the game.
Do NOT go to sleep during the game.
Do NOT use a lighter instead of a candle during the game.
Do NOT use a person’s blood other than your own during the game.
Do NOT attempt to leave your home during the game.
Do NOT attempt to provoke the Midnight Man during the game.
And most importantly: Do NOT assume that the Midnight Man has left your home for good at the conclusion of the game.
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[Photo via, remixed by Lucia Peters]