Previously: The Closet Game.
Our homes are supposed to be safe spaces — the only places in the world that are truly ours, where anyone inside plays by our rules and where we call the shots. But one of the things that I find so fascinating about so many of these kinds of games — these games we shouldn’t play, games like the Corner Game — is the way they take our homes and they strip them of their safety. They make the familiar strange, turning our places of comfort into places of danger. Wonder, yes… but also danger.
According to hakei1211, the Corner Game can be found all over Naver; to me, that suggests that it’s Korean in origin, although since I haven’t been able to trace it back to one original source, that’s mostly an educated guess on my part. What I do know, though, is that the Corners Game is, at heart, a summoning ritual. The idea is to call forth the kinds of entities that are drawn to corners: Those who typically inhabit ceilings, but who like to use the corners of rooms to come down closer to their human prey; those who occupy the corners themselves; and so on and so forth. (Japan’s the Girl from the Gap may be one of these, although possibly not; I suspect she’s at least a relative, if not a full-blown corner dweller.) The systematic rotation is said to pique these entities’ curiosity, thus inspiring them to appear.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
I assume you’d do this just to be able to say that you’ve seen a ghost. Whether or not it’s worth the risk, however, is up to you. And as always…
…Well, you know how it goes.
- Four principals.
- An empty room. The room must have four corners — no more, no less.
- Clear the building in which your game room lies. There should be no additional people inside the building; nor should there be any pets. The only living bodies present should be those of the four principals.
- Extinguish the lights in every room of the building except the game room.
- Enter the game room. Upon entering, speak your own name aloud three times.
- Designate one principal as the Speaker. From this point forward, no one but the Speaker may speak.
- Close the door of the room. The four principals should now be inside the game room with the door shut tight. Do not speak.
- Turn out the lights. Do not speak.
The Main Event:
- Each principal, including the Speaker, must chose a corner of the room. More than one principal may not occupy a single corner. Do not speak.
- Each principal must position themselves in the corner, standing upright and facing the wall. All principals’ backs should be toward the center of the room. Do not speak.
- Once all principals are in position, the Speaker must count to three. No other principals may speak.
- After the third count, all principals must rotate clockwise to the next corner. Do not turn around; all principals’ backs should remain toward the center of the room. Do not speak.
- Once all principals have completed the rotation, repeat Main Event step 4. Continue to repeat Main Event step 4 until it is time to enact the completion procedure.
- If, at any point, a principal disappears:
- The Speaker should indicate to the remaining principals to enact the emergency procedure.
- The emergency procedure is as follows: Each principal must speak their own name backwards three times, then turn around and press their backs to the wall. The principal closest to the light switch should then turn on the lights. The previously vanished principal should reappear when the lights are turned on.
- Do not speak.
- If, after enacting the emergency procedure, an additional figure may be observed in the room:
- The Speaker should indicate to the principals to enact the completion procedure. Do NOT, under ANY circumstance, speak to the additional figure.
The Completion Procedure:
- All four principals must gather at the light switch, ideally behind the additional figure.
- Each principal must speak their own name backwards three times.
- Turn on the lights. Hope for the best.
- If you’ve all made it, open the door and exit the room. Give it some time before you attempt to re-enter. And… try not to be alone in there with the lights off from now on.
If at any point during the rotation process, one principal bumps into another, turn on the lights and wait. You may try again after a few moments. Do not speak.
It is recommended that the principals develop a pre-determined signal that does not involve speaking to indicate whether one principal has vanished. One suggested method assigns each principal a number before the start of the game; then, after each rotation, each principal knocks on the wall their corresponding number of times in succession. After all principals have been determined to be present, the Speaker then commences the next rotation. If a sequence of knocks is missing, however, the Speaker should clap once loudly to signal to the principals to begin the emergency procedure.
Should anyone but the Speaker speak, you will find yourselves in terrible danger. Don’t do it. Just… don’t.
Regarding the Completion Procedure:
All four principals are required to perform the completion procedure. If the fourth principal disappears, but does not reappear after the lights have been turned back on…
…You’re on your own.
[Photo via IX K/Flickr]