Previously: Dream Of The Dead.
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This ritual game, referred to by the title “The One Who Answers,” is definitely a fictional creation, rather than a longstanding piece of folklore or an established method of performing magic. It appears only on the Creepypasta Wikia — literally nowhere else — where it was originally uploaded on Jan. 7, 2017 by user Hatter666. It did at one point appear on the r/ThreeKings subreddit, but after that subreddit’s banning at the end of October, I’ve been unable to access it in a complete enough form to determine when it was added to the archive there. I believe, however, that it was simply re-uploaded there sometime in 2018 — meaning the Creepypasta Wikia version is probably the original one.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
In any event, the gameplay of The One Who Answers echoes that of an earlier game, the Candles Game, so much that it honestly reads as a bit derivative. There are differences, though — the biggest one being that, once you go through the rigmarole of finding and lighting a whole bunch of candles in your home, you’re given the chance to ask some questions of an otherworldly correspondent in this one. In the Candles Game, your goal is simply to light all the candles before time runs out — that is, the lighting of the candles in The One Who Answers is a means to an end, whereas in the Candles Game, lighting them is the end itself.
As originally written, this ritual is also… messy. There’s a lot that’s unclear or inconsistent throughout, and where details are lacking, it’s not to allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks, but because of an oversight or plot hole. Accordingly, I’ve attempted to clean things up a bit here — to answer questions, to resolve inconsistencies, and to offer just a bit more clarity of vision throughout.
Note, too, that this one is a huge fire hazard. Take common sense precautions if you’re going to play — get a fire extinguisher, make sure your smoke alarms are working beforehand, etc.—or, y’know, just… don’t play at all.
After all, the warning always stands:
Play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- Candles — 16 of them. Black, if possible, but otherwise dark-colored if not.
- Matches — lots of them.
- A book — non-fiction.
- A time-keeping device — equipped with an alarm.
- A timer or stopwatch — optional, but recommended.
- A house or building in which to play — quiet, dark, with no streetlights or other light sources nearby.
- A room inside the house or building — quiet, with no windows, with only one door equipped with a lock.
- Pillows, blankets, and/or a sleeping bag — optional, but recommended.
- Questions — knowledge you wish to acquire. (See: Additional Notes.)
Making The Preparations:
- To determine an appropriate date on which to play, consult a weather report and a calendar or chart detailing the upcoming phases of the moon. Choose a night on which A) there will be almost total cloud cover, and B) there will be a new moon. Both of these conditions MUST be met before the game can begin. Do NOT attempt to play on any night that does NOT satisfy both conditions.
- Wait until that date.
- Once that date has arrived, and night has fallen, confirm that both conditions are still met.
- If they are not: DO NOT PROCEED.
- If they are: You may begin.
- Clear the building of other people, pets, etc.
- Go to the quiet, windowless room you have picked out within the building you have chosen as your playing space. Bring with you ONE candle, the matches, the alarm clock, the timer, the book, and, if using, the pillows, blankets, and/or sleeping bag.
- Set up these items within the room however you like. Ensure that the candle is placed somewhere it will not be a fire hazard.
- This room is your safe room.
- Take the remaining 15 candles and place them throughout the building — in rooms, in hallways, wherever you like. Distribute them across the building as evenly as you can; do not place them all in a single room. For best results, ensure that there is at least six feet of space between each candle — more if possible.
- Do NOT place any additional candles in the safe room. The safe room should hold ONLY ONE candle.
- Once all of the candles have been placed, turn off all the lights in the building.
- Return to your safe room. Close the door behind you, but do not lock it — yet.
- Set your alarm for 2:33am.
- Go to sleep.
Lighting The Candles:
- When you wake, turn off the alarm on your clock, if it is going off; then, check the time.
- If it is NOT precisely 2:33am: DO NOT PROCEED. Do not get up. Do not leave the safe room. Go back to sleep. Stay in bed until at least 6am. When it is safe to do so, get up, exit the safe room, gather up the candles, and dispose of them. Do not attempt this ritual again until at least two years, two months, and three days have passed.
- If it is precisely 2:33am: Check the door to your safe room.
- If the door is open: DO NOT PROCEED. Vacate the premises IMMEDIATELY — by 3am at the latest. Go somewhere safe. Stay there until at least 2:33pm. Do not attempt this ritual again.
- If the door is closed: You may proceed. Leave the door closed for now.
- Using the matches, light the candle previously placed in your safe room. Keep a hold of the candle, and keep the matches on your person.
- Set the timer to go off after three minutes and 33 seconds, but do NOT start the actual countdown yet. Like the matches, keep the timer on your person.
- Speak aloud the following words: “I call upon thee who walks the fields of knowledge, and, like knowledge, is hidden in the darkness.
- If you hear nothing: The ritual has failed. Do not proceed. Speaking aloud, offer an apology and beg for forgiveness. Go back to sleep. Stay in bed until at least 6am. When it is safe to do so, get up, exit the safe room, gather up the candles, and dispose of them. If you must attempt the ritual again, do not do so until the previously-noted two years, two months, and three days have passed — but it would be better if you did not attempt it again. Ever.
- If you hear a voice whisper back: Listen to what it says. If all has gone well, it should respond, “And you will fall to darkness with them.”
- If it says something else: Do not proceed. Follow the procedure you would if had heard nothing.
- If it says exactly that: You may proceed.
- Start the countdown on the timer.
- Open the door.
- Exit the room.
- You have until the timer goes off — that is, you have precisely three minutes and 33 seconds — to light all 15 candles remaining in the building. Carry the lit candle from your safe room with you to light your way. Use ONLY the lit candle from your safe room to lit your way. Do NOT turn on or use any other source(s) of light, except the matches you’ll use to light the candles.
- NOTE: The candles will NOT be in the same positions in which you left them. They will not be hidden or blocked from view, but you will have to find them before you can light them.
- Move quickly — you haven’t got much time.
- By the time one minute has passed, you should have at least four candles lit.
- Do not let the candle you’re holding go out.
- By the time two minutes have passed, you should have at least eight candles lit.
- Do not let any of the other candles go out, either.
- By the time three minutes have passed, you should have at least 12 candles lit.
- If any of them go out, you MUST relight them within three seconds — but know, too, that those three seconds could be costly.
- By the time three minutes and 33 seconds have passed — by the time your timer goes off — you should have all 15 candles lit, plus the additional candle from your safe room.
- If you do not succeed: DO NOT PROCEED. See: Additional Notes.
- If you do light all the candles in time: You may proceed.
Asking The Questions:
- If you have made it this far, return to your safe room, close the door behind you, and — finally — lock it securely. Make sure the candle you’re holding is still lit.
- Pick up your book and open it. Read aloud from it, pronouncing each word as distinctly and clearly as possible.
- Keep an eye on the time. Continue reading.
- Do not let your candle go out. Continue reading.
- When the clock reads 3am, listen carefully.
- If you hear nothing: The ritual has failed. DO NOT PROCEED. See: Additional Notes.
- If you hear a knocking at the door: Listen further. Count the knocks.
- If there are fewer or more than 16 knocks: The ritual has failed. DO NOT PROCEED. See: Additional Notes.
- If there are 16 knocks, precisely: You may proceed.
- Begin asking your questions. Ask them aloud, and ask them clearly, carefully, and respectfully. After you have asked a question, wait and listen until you receive your answer. The answer will real and truthful, no matter what you ask.
- Keep an eye on the time.
- Continue asking your questions. Continuing asking them aloud, and asking them clearly, carefully, and respectfully. Continue waiting and listening between each question to receive your answer.
- Do not let your candle go out.
- You may continue asking questions until 6:00am. When the clock reads 6, bid your correspondent farewell and thank them for their time.
- Only then may you extinguish your candle.
Due to the fact that it involves leaving candles burning unattended, this game is a severe fire hazard. It is not recommended that you play it for a variety of reasons, but especially for this reason.
It is highly recommended that you place a fire extinguisher in your safe room.
Bystanders may not be present during the playing of this game.
Matches MUST be used. Do not substitute a lighter, kitchen blowtorch, or any other fire-making device for the matches.
The timer is optional; however, if you choose not to use it, you’d better be positive — positive — that you have a good enough internal clock that you can accurately track three minutes and 33 seconds right down to the last millisecond.
You may read elsewhere that, in the event that the ritual fails at Step 18 of Lighting The Candles or Step 5 of Asking The Questions, self-harm must be undertaken in response. Please note that self-harm is NOT advocated in general, nor is it an effective response to the ritual reaching failure conditions at any of these points. Instead, it is recommended that you follow the procedures laid out in the “If you hear nothing” condition of Lighting The Candles, Step 6.
Concerning Your Questions:
You may ask your correspondent anything The gameplay of the ritual game called The One Who Answers echoes that of an earlier game, the Candles Game, so much that it honestly reads as a bit derivative. There are differences, though — the biggest one being that, once you go through the rigmarole of finding and lighting a whole bunch of candles in your home, you’re given the chance to ask some questions of an otherworldly being. anything at all — EXCEPT the following:
- You may not ask your correspondent who they are.
- You may not ask your correspondent where they are from.
- You may not ask your correspondent how they got here.
- You may not ask your correspondent to reveal themselves to you in any way, shape, or form.
Do not attempt to ask your correspondent any of these questions (or any questions phrased differently, but which ask essentially the same things).
Regarding Future Attempts:
If you successfully play this game to its conclusion, you may play it again at a later date. However, you must allow at least three months to pass before you attempt it again; additionally, you may only play it a maximum of six additional times.
Do not attempt to play it again before three months have passed.
Do not attempt to play it more than a total of seven times.
Should you attempt it in either case…
…It won’t go well for you.
It won’t go well for you at all.
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[Photo via haplessman/Pixabay]