Previously: Charlie Charlie.
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When I first encountered this Ritual To Experience The Other Side, it was actually under a different name: The Pitch Black Ritual. However, that particular version of the game was a Malaysian translation of the original source — which, although involving making sure that the room in which you choose to play is pitch black before you begin, doesn’t actually refer to it as the Pitch Black Ritual. In fact, there’s actually a different ritual floating around out there that is called the Pitch Black Ritual — but it’s, uh, not a terrific piece of writing, so it hasn’t gained much traction. In fact, it was deleted from the Creepypasta Wikia in 2015 for “Housekeeping” purposes, which, as I’ve noted before, usually means it was a quality control issue (that is, bad writing).
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Anyway, what we’re going to look at here is the Ritual To Experience The Other Side — which, for any Patreon supporters who participated in this week’s Most Dangerous Games poll, is the ritual I was referring to when I mentioned the Pitch Black Ritual. We might revisit the other ritual going by that name at a later date, although again, it’s… not great, so we might not.
The Ritual To Experience The Other Side was uploaded to the Creepypasta Wikia in 2013 by user Telos954, who, judging by the tone of their profile, intended it to be a piece of fiction. But Telos did also point out in a comment later on that the ritual does “work,” in a manner: It works for the same reason that, say, An Alternate Soul and Bloody Mary do — that is, because of the Caputo effect and the strange face illusion.
The concept of the Other Side is presented here as “a multi-faceted gem,” wherein each side is “just slightly” visible if you peer through the other sides, but not clear enough to enable us to “see full images”: Writes Telos, “Our world is much the same; we can usually only see faint bits of the other ‘facets,’ unless something is very, very wrong.”
This, in turn, implies that the ritual’s whole point is to enact something “very, very wrong.” So, as always — play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A large mirror. Wall mirrors are recommended, although full-length mirrors are also acceptable.
- A candle.
- Matches or a lighter.
- Something to set the candle on — a small table, a chair, a countertop, etc.
- A flashlight. (Optional.)
- A time-keeping device with an alarm.
- A dark, quiet room.
- Somewhere to sleep.
- Begin at night.
- Set up the mirror of your chosen game room, if necessary. When you stand before it, you should be able to see yourself reflected back at you from at least the waist up.
- Position the item on which you plan to set the candle such that it is behind you when you stand before the mirror, but close enough that it provides enough illumination to light the area surrounding the mirror.
- Place the candle on the stand such that, when it is lit and when you are standing between it and the mirror, you will not be able to see the candle’s flame reflected back at you. Place the matches or lighter nearby, but do not light the candle yet.
- Close the curtains or otherwise block the windows, if necessary. Ensure that no light leaks into the room from the outside.
- Turn off, unplug, and/or remove the batteries from any electronic devices that light up in any way; you may also simply remove these objects from the room.
- Turn off any and all lights. Once you do this, the room should be completely pitch black. If the room is NOT completely pitch black, find any remaining sources of light and turn off, block, or remove them from the room. DO NOT PROCEED until the room achieves total darkness.
- Set your alarm for two to three hours from the present time — that is, set it for a time which will allow you to get a small amount of sleep between now and when it goes off, but which is also a time at which it will still be dark outside when the alarm sounds. Place the alarm near where you have chosen to sleep.
- Go to sleep.
- When your alarm sounds, wake up. Do not hit the snooze button. Proceed to your game room; use the flashlight to light your way, if desired. Close the door behind you.
- Confirm that the room is pitch black inside. (If using the flashlight, turn it off briefly to perform this check.)
- Once you have confirmed that the room has achieved pitch black conditions, light the candle. You may turn the flashlight back on to perform this action if necessary; once the candle is lit, however, turn the flashlight off. If it is battery-operated, you may remove the batteries, as well.
- Stand between the mirror and the candle, facing the mirror. Confirm that you cannot see the candle’s flame reflected back at you.
- Lay your non-dominant hand flat on the mirror’s surface, ensuring that your palm and all of your fingers are touching the glass. If you are ambidextrous, choose the hand you use least frequently.
- Meet your reflection’s eyes with your own. Hold your gaze. Do not look away.
- Take a deep breath. Hold it for as long as possible. Exhale slowly. Do not look away.
- Take another deep breath. Hold it for as long as possible. Exhale slowly. Do not look away.
- Repeat Steps 7 and/or 8. Do not look away.
- Continue to repeat Steps 7 and/or 8.
- Do not look away.
- Keep repeating these steps. Pay attention.
- If nothing happens: The ritual has failed. Proceed to Returning; you may try again another time.
- If any of the following occur:
- You feel an odd or unusual sensation beneath your palm — for instance, the sense that something is squirming, a buzzing feeling, or some other form of vibration.
- You hear odd or unusual sounds around you — for instance, voices, whispers, mechanical or industrial sounds, or music.
- You witness your reflection’s face begin to shift or change — for instance, it begins to resemble a deceased loved one, a wild animal, or a demonic being.
- You witness your reflection’s surroundings begin to shift or change — for instance, small details suddenly differ between the room’s reflection and the room itself, other people are suddenly present in the room’s reflection who are not present in the room itself, or the room itself disappears and is replaced by a completely different environment.
- The ritual has succeeded. Continue observing the mirror for as long as you like — within reason. Continue breathing as described in Steps 7 and 8 for as long as you choose to remain focused on the mirror.
- When you are ready to end the ritual, proceed to Returning.
- Cease breathing as described in Viewing, Steps 7 and 8 and return instead to your standard mode of breathing.
- Close your eyes — just briefly. Just for a moment.
- Now, open your eyes.
- Remove your hand from the mirror.
- Turn on the lights.
- Extinguish the candle.
- Are you satisfied, now, with what you’ve seen?
You need not clear the immediate surroundings or building of other people, pets, etc. before beginning; however, you should ensure that you will not be disturbed for the duration of the ritual.
The game room may be any room in which you are able to achieve total darkness. A bathroom is — as is often the case with rituals such as this one — a good choice, as bathrooms often a) have no windows, making blackout conditions more easily achieved, and b) come equipped with wall mirrors, meaning you need not procure an additional one.
The place in which you sleep may be your bedroom, but does not necessarily have to be.
The game room and the place in which you sleep may be the same room.
Regarding the use of the candle, i.e. an open flame: Take common sense precautions to guard against fire hazards. Clear the area surrounding the candle of anything flammable; keep a working fire extinguisher nearby; etc.
The alarm clock need not be analog; however, if you choose to use an electronic option, such as a smartphone or digital clock, ensure that it is not both on and present in game room when you begin Viewing. If the place in which you sleep and the game room are separate rooms, leave the alarm clock in your sleeping area before entering the game room. If the place in which you sleep and the game room are the same room, or if you are using your smartphone as your alarm clock, you may keep the device with you as you play, as long as you turn it off before you begin. If you choose to keep the device with you, turn it off COMPLETELY — do not simply put it on silent or do not disturb mode.
If using the flashlight, a smartphone may also fill this function. As doing so will require the presence of the smartphone in the game room during the ritual, ensure that you turn the device off after you have lit the candle in Viewing, Step 3. You may turn it back on after you open your eyes in Returning, Step 3.
You need not destroy the mirror after completing the ritual; however, be mindful of how you use it going forward. You may also wish to be mindful of mirrors in general; if you feel uneasy in the presence of one, consider covering it or turning it to face the wall. Yes, the mirror allowed you to view the Other Side; do not make the mistake of thinking, though, that there was no one looking back.
Do NOT use a door or window in place of the mirror, even if it is reflective enough to satisfy the requirements. ESPECIALLY do not use a door or a window that faces a pitch-black view. Mirrors present only pictures. Doors and windows provide… egress.
If you do not feel, hear, or see anything odd or unusual in the mirror in Viewing, Step 12 — meaning the ritual has failed — do not be concerned or upset. Failure at this point does not mean failure forever. You need simply end the ritual by following the procedure laid out in Returning, and then try again another time.
If you do feel, hear, or see anything odd or unusual in the mirror in Viewing, Step 12 — meaning the ritual has succeeded — and continue to feel, hear, or see anything odd or unusual in the mirror after opening and closing your eyes in Returning, Steps 2 and 3 and removing your hand from the mirror’s surface…
That is troubling, isn’t it?
Try… turning around.
If your surroundings are no longer what they were when you started…
…You may no longer be on your own side of the mirror.
What do you think you might find here?
Whatever it is, get used to it.
You might be here for a while.
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[Photo via Vincent Diamante/Flickr, available under a CC BY-SA 2.0 Creative Commons license.]