Previously: Bed Of Sorrow.
The Closet Game is creepypasta in its purest form; its origin is unknown, and it’s pretty much always encountered in the same form, having been copied and pasted time and time again from various locations on the internet starting around 2009. Regardless as to whether you know the creepypasta, though, the basic setup will likely sound familiar to anyone who grew up fearing that there was a monster in their closet.
The trope of the monster in the closet appears in a huge number of cultures across the globe. Part of the general “bogeyman” myth, the closet-dweller is El Cucuy in Latin American countries, Butzemeann in Germany, Boeman in the Netherlands, and Jumbi in Guyana. When he’s not hiding in the closet, he’s lurking under the bed, and his primary function is punishing naughty children by kidnapping them. The fact that he’s so prevalent in so many different areas of the world suggests a rather primal fear of the dark… and what might be lurking there, just outside of our field of vision.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Like a number of the rituals and games we’ve looked at here, there doesn’t actually seem to be a point to this one; there’s no prize for winning, although the price you’ll pay for losing is rather steep indeed. In these cases, the thing I keep coming back to is the idea of tempting fate — and why we like to do it, even when there’s nothing concrete to gain from it. Maybe it’s kind of a supernatural pissing contest, or maybe it speaks to our ingrained, psychological need for danger… but either way, it’s always worth figuring out for yourself exactly what you want out of any particular game before you play it, especially if it’s one like this one.
A note on safety: One of the more mundane reasons it’s not advisable to perform this ritual is the fact that it involves lighting a match inside a closed closet. If you must perform it, make sure the closet is big enough or empty enough that there’s no danger of accidentally lighting anything — clothing, other flammable items, etc. — on fire. Although it’s not specified in the requirements, I’d recommend having a fire extinguisher readily accessible, just in case. The bogeyman isn’t the only thing to fear here.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A closet.
- A match.
- Begin at night.
- Darken the room: Turn out the lights of the room in which the closet is located and draw the curtains. If the closet also has a light, make sure it, too, is turned off.
- Make sure you have the match somewhere on your person.
- Open the closet, step inside, and close the door. There should be no light visible, either inside the closet or outside of it.
- Stand in the darkness for at least two minutes. Do not move. Do not speak.
- After the two minutes are up, hold the match out in front of you. Speak the words, “Show me the light or leave me in darkness.”
- Listen closely.
- If you hear whispers in the darkness:
- Light the match immediately. Wait.
- If you hear nothing:
- Do not turn around. Wait.
- If you hear whispers in the darkness:
- If you have made it this far unscathed, open the closet door, exit the closet, and close the door again. Do NOT look inside the closet.
- In fact, don’t look inside the closet ever again if you can help it — and especially not without all the lights on and burning brightly.
Some who have successfully completed the ritual say that strange things happen at night if you leave the closet door open. Again, it is NOT recommended that you look in the closet with the lights off… but if you do, you might see two points of light gleaming out of the darkness, glowing red like the tips of a pair of lit matches.
They might be eyes.
But they might not.
But they might.
If You Fail To Light The Match In Time:
Don’t fail. You don’t want to know what happens if you do.
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[Photo via John Lee Maverick/Flickr]