Previously: The Eye In The Shadows.
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I’ve been unable to determine where the ritual game known as the Triple Mirror Game originated; the source that’s most commonly cited is a listicle published at the party planning website Holidappy in 2016. There, writer Mackenzie Wright noted that she had learned the game from “a psychic friend… long ago”; if that’s, in fact, true, then either the game has been passed around for some time via word of mouth — not unlike the Doors Of Your Mind/Red Door, Yellow Door/Black Door, White Door or Bloody Mary — or the friend invented the game themself.
However, it’s also possible that Wright herself may have concocted the rules to the Triple Mirror Game and added that little tidbit to the lore to make it more realistic. Also, the game bears some resemblance to Tunnels, which first appeared on the r/ThreeKings subreddit in 2015, for whatever that’s worth.
Any of these possibilities could well be the case when it comes to this game’s origins. The jury’s still out on which one it really is.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
That said, though, mirrors have long factored in folkloric magic and superstition; that’s clear simply from the sheer number of ritual games out there that include mirrors. But although in many cases, mirrors are used to see into another realm, in this case, you’re using them to see your own world a little more clearly. The Triple Mirror Game, you see, is supposed to show you any entities that might be skulking around the room with you — entities you might not be able to see with the naked eye.
Just… don’t look at what you find for too long. You wouldn’t want to catch their attention.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- Three large mirrors. The mirrors should be capable of standing up on their own.
- Three sheets or large measures of cloth. They should each be large enough to cover one mirror.
- A white candle. A jar candle is ideal.
- Matches or a lighter.
- Salt. Lots.
- A dark, quiet room in which to play. The room must have at least one door.
Making The Preparations:
- Begin at night.
- Turn out the lights in as much of the building in which your playing space is located as possible. At the very least, ensure that the area immediately surrounding the door to your playing space — the hallway, any surrounding rooms, etc. — is dark.
- Gather your supplies and take them to the quiet room. Do NOT close the door. Keep it open.
- Shut the curtains in the room or otherwise block any windows such that no light bleeds in from the outside.
- Lay a line of salt across all thresholds in the room — doorways, windowsills, everything.
- Arrange the mirrors in front of the door such that the image of the door reflects from the first mirror into the second one, and from the second mirror into the third one. (See: Concerning Mirror Placement.)
- Place the candle in front of the door, between all three mirrors.
- Turn out the lights in your prepared room.
Opening The Window:
- Using the matches or lighter, light the candle. It will be necessary to step in the center of the arrangement of mirrors to do so. Once the candle is lit, step back outside the mirror arrangement as quickly as possible.
- Remaining inside the room, but outside the arrangement of mirrors, position yourself such that you are able to see into the third mirror without being reflected in either of the other two mirrors. (See: Concerning Mirror Placement.)
- Direct your gaze to the third mirror.
- Look closely.
- Closer still.
- What do you see?
- Make note — but do not look for too long.
Closing The Window:
- When you are ready to end the game, avert your gaze from the third mirror.
- Gather up the three sheets. Beginning with the third mirror, then progressing to the second, and finally to the first, throw one sheet over each mirror. Do NOT step into the center of the mirror arrangement to do so. Instead, travel around the outside of the mirrors, covering each mirror from behind.
- When all three mirrors are covered, step into the center of the mirror arrangement and extinguish the candle. Remove yourself from the center of the mirror arrangement as quickly as possible.
- Turn on the lights.
- Keeping the mirrors covered, dismantle the arrangement and place each mirror so that they are facing the wall. Position them as close to the wall as possible.
- Leave the mirrors in this position for at least 72 hours. Do not enter the room during that time.
- After at least 72 hours have passed, remove the mirrors from the premises and take them somewhere safe for storage.
- Once they have been taken away from the playing space, you may remove the sheets. It is recommended that you throw salt on the surface of each mirror.
- Keep the mirrors safe. Do not use them for their original purpose again.
It is not necessary to begin the game at a specific time; the only requirement is that it be nighttime when you begin. However, you will likely achieve best results at specific and notable times — midnight, 3:33am, etc.
During Opening The Window, do NOT make prolonged eye contact with anything you see in the mirror. Do not make eye contact with anything you see AT ALL if you can help it.
When storing the mirrors, it is recommended that you separate them, taking them to different locations as far away from each other as possible. When they have been taken to their individual storage spaces, you may remove the sheets and throw salt on them as instructed in Step 8 of Closing The Window.
You may use the mirrors to perform this game a second time, but it is NOT recommended that you perform it in the same place as you did the first time. And again, do NOT use the mirrors for their original purpose — examining your own appearance, etc. — again.
Concerning Mirror Placement:
The placement of the mirrors should look something like this:
The dotted arrows indicate the path of the door’s reflection from mirror to mirror. You may need to adjust the precise angles and positioning in order to achieve the desired effect.
The candle should be positioned where the three paths of the reflection cross, directly in the center of the arrangement and in front of the open door.
The recommended location for the principal to stand during Opening The Window is marked with a red cross. To look into the third mirror, stand at the position indicated by the cross and direct your gaze across to the appropriate mirror.
Concerning Mirror Safety:
Do NOT break the mirrors. Do not allow them to break either while playing, or while storing them afterwards.
If the mirrors break, you might let Them out.
And that’s something you absolutely do not want to happen.
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[Photo via Tama66/Pixabay; Lucia Peters/The Ghost In My Machine]