Previously: Daruma-san, or The Bath Game.
Like so many of the games and rituals we’ve looked at here in The Most Dangerous Games, the Dark Reflection Ritual relies heavily on the use of mirrors. But according to its lore, bad luck doesn’t follow the person who breaks a mirror; rather, the negative energy stays focused in the area in which the mirror was broken, gradually dissipating over time.
Of course, the rules change if you break a mirror specifically for the purposes of performing this ritual — that’s when misfortune will start following you around. But if you manage to survive a night of the worst luck you can imagine, there’s gold to be found on the other side, a reversal of luck so dramatic that those who have completed it successfully claim it’s well worth the risk.
Me… I’m not so sure.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
As always, play at your own risk.
- At least one principal. A group is suggested.
- A mirror. It may be of any type or shape; its only necessary quality is that it be a mirror you are willing to break.
- A candle.
- Matches or a lighter.
- Begin after sunset, but no less than six hours until dawn.
- Take up your mirror and look your reflection in the eye for three to five seconds, focusing your attention on the negative energy held within the mirror. Then hold the glass up to your face and anoint it with your breath — that is, breathe onto it such that that the mirror fogs up.
- Repeat this step for as many players as there are in the group, with each player performing the step in its entirety once.
- After all players have successfully anointed the mirror with their breath, light the candle with your matches or lighter and hold it to the mirror’s surface. Once the candle has blackened a small portion of the glass, remove the candle and extinguish it.
- Break the mirror, releasing the negative energy.
- Leave the pieces of broken mirror where they are and evacuate the area immediately.
- Bad luck will proceed to follow you throughout the night. Incidents will likely begin small, but will grow in severity as the evening wears on. Your survival is dependent on your state of alertness; there are no rules to follow or actions to perform that will guarantee your safety. The only pieces of advice which may be given are the following:
- Stay vigilant;
- And should you find yourself in a particularly threatening situation, hold your breath for as long as you can.
- Should you survive the night unscathed, your luck will perform an abrupt about-face with the arrival of the first light of dawn: Your bad luck will end, and a streak of good fortune will begin. People will be nicer to you; success will come easily; and if you are the gambling type, it is recommended that you buy a lottery ticket.
Although the only necessary quality for the mirror to possess is that it be one that you are willing to break, other qualities may also be worth considering. For example:
- How old is the mirror? Both the risk and the reward of this ritual depend on how old the mirror is. An older mirror which has seen many gazes will hold more negative energy; accordingly, the strength and duration of your good luck during and after Act III will be greater. However, the danger during Act II will be greater, as well. Proceed with caution.
- Do you have a personal connection to it? A mirror which has a personal connection to you — one into you which you have looked frequently prior to the commencement of the ritual, like one from your bedroom or bathroom — will tailor your good fortune to your likes, dislikes, and desires.
There is no specific location in which this ritual is best performed; however, it is NOT recommended that it be conducted at your place of residence. It is much easier to run from negative energy if you haven’t gone and released it within the walls of your own home.
Although this ritual may be performed by only one principal, it is best conducted by a group. The reason for this recommendation goes back to the idea of there being strength in numbers: If only one player performs the ritual, the negative energy released during Act I will have only one person to follow. The more players there are, the thinner the negative energy will have to spread itself as it tracks you down.
Anointing the mirror with your breath in Act I connects the negative energy within the mirror to you. Holding your breath in the face of the bad luck following you during Act II will not prevent it from reaching you entirely, but it will buy you a few moments to get out of a dangerous situation if needed.
You MUST begin the ritual during the window of time indicated in the instructions. Beginning too close to dawn will not allow the negative energy brought forth from the mirror to fully manifest before the light of the sun purifies it; and more dangerously, beginning during the day allows the negative energy released by the ritual more time to dog your steps. It is not the light of day that will purify the energy — it is specifically the light of dawn.
A Final Note:
There is no way to halt this ritual once it has begun. Do NOT begin it unless you plan on finishing it.