Previously: The Lord 13.
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As is the case for many Japanese ritual games, “Come Here,” or “こっちこい,” originated on 2ch: It was originally posted to 2ch’s occult board on July 15, 2007. It’s been circulating the internet in Japan ever since — I’ve found posts featuring its rules dated 2009, 2010, 2014, 2017, and so on — although it took a little longer to arrive on the English language internet. That didn’t happen until 2013, when Saya Yomino of Saya In Underworld translated the original 2ch post from Japanese into English.
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The ritual itself is simple and easy to perform; however, that also means that the story of the ritual — the through-line, the thing that makes ritual games fun to read about, even if you don’t actually intend to play them — is pretty barebones. The instructions only take you up until the moment at which you’re meant to witness the fruits of your labor — but there, the story stops abruptly. And it isn’t just a case of making the suggestion of what’s supposed to happen next without spelling it out for you entirely; it literally just stops, saying nothing more than, “It is unknown what happens next.” There’s no conclusion, no wrap-up, and no way to draw the whole thing to a close.
We can probably make some reasonable guesses about what happens at that point, though. The original 2ch post had one account from someone who actually played the game included alongside the rules — and for what it’s worth, what this player experienced bears some similarities with what’s meant to happen when you finish another Japanese ritual game: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, or the Game of 100 Ghost Stories.
There’s no guarantee each player will have the same experience, of course. But at least — should you read that account — you’ll know roughly what to expect.
As always, play at your own risk.
- At least one principal.
- A candle.
- Matches or a lighter.
- A dark, quiet interior location in which to play — henceforth termed the “playing field.” The front door to this location should be easily accessible from inside the playing field.
- A hiding place located within the playing field (see: The Preparations, Step 6).
- Begin at night.
- Close the curtains or otherwise block all of the windows in your playing field. Ensure that no light is visible from outside the playing field.
- Turn off all the lights in your playing field.
- Turn off, unplug, and/or remove the batteries from all electronic devices in your playing field.
- Choose one room within your playing field to function as your starting room.
- Within your starting room, choose a hiding place — somewhere small and narrow. Slightly claustrophobic, perhaps. What might be described as “a tight fit.”
- Bring your candle and matches or lighter to your starting room.
- Light the candle.
- Walk slowly around the starting room, carrying the candle and repeating the phrase “Come here” aloud continuously as you do so. Do NOT let the candle go out. Keep the matches or lighter with you, just in case.
- Exit the starting room.
- Still carrying the candle — and still taking care not to let it go out — go to the front door of your playing field.
- Walk slowly around the area of the playing field directly before the front door. Maintain your continuous repetitions of the phrase “Come here. ”
- Return to the starting room. Keep carrying the candle with you. Keep making sure it remains lit.
- Go to your hiding place.
- Hide. Hide carefully. Hide quietly.
- Once you are hidden — and only once you are hidden — extinguish the candle.
- Don’t move.
- Don’t speak.
- Don’t make noise.
- Wait, watch, and listen.
- When you are done playing, emerge from your hiding place.
- Turn on the lights.
- Open the curtains.
- Turn on any electronic devices you previously turned off.
- Go about your life — but be careful in the dark from now on.
- After all, you invited something in… but you didn’t ask it to leave.
This game may be played with more than one principal. In the event of multiple players, each player should have their own candle, matches or lighter, and hiding place. The steps of the ritual should be performed at the same time by all of the players.
Most players opt to play this game in their own homes, as these locations typically satisfy all the necessary requirements of the playing field. Some additional information:
- Should you live in a house, use the front door of the house as the “front door” in the game. During Steps 2 and 3 of The Preparations, close all of the curtains and turn off all of the lights in every room of the house.
- Should you live in an apartment, use the front door to your individual unit — not the front door to the apartment building itself — as the “front door” in the game. During Steps 2 and 3 of The Preparations, close all of the curtains and turn off all of the lights in every room of the apartment.
- Should you live specifically in a studio apartment or other one-room domicile, your playing field and your starting room will be one in the same.
- Should you live with roommates, family members, or pets, it is recommended, although not required, that you have them leave the home before beginning the game.
- It is not a requirement to use your home as your playing field.
According to accounts from past players, you may experience one or more of the following phenomena during the course of the game: Hearing or feeling the breath of something nearby, even if you’re alone; feeling the tug of someone at your legs or arms, even if there’s no one else present; hearing disembodied footsteps, even if you’re on your own in the playing field; feeling like you’re being watched, even if no one else is home; seeing bright, glowing objects, even if the entire playing field is dark; and witnessing your candle extinguish itself all on its own, even if there’s no draft or breeze.
However, you also may experience none of these phenomena.
You may experience something entirely different — or nothing at all.
But, one last thing:
Concerning The Candle:
If it goes out before Step 8 of The Invitation, relight it immediately.
You don’t want to be caught alone without it lit.
It might be the only thing keeping you safe.
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