Previously: Staircase To Another World.
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If you’re reading these words, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the Elevator Game — the ritual game that purportedly delivers you to another world if you board an elevator and press the buttons in the right order. But did you know there’s a different Elevator Game out there, too? This game, which I’m going to call the Elevator Game – Salt Water Version for short (its full title is usually something like, How To Go To Another World By Elevator – Salt Water Version), has been around for almost as long — but it’s much less well-known. In fact, I’ve never even seen it on an English language site before.
Unlike its more popular cousin, which (likely) originated on the Japanese message board site 2ch/5ch before spreading far and wide in a variety of different languages, I’ve only ever encountered the salt water variation of the Elevator Game on Korean sites. The earliest version of it I’ve been able to find was posted to Instiz in January of 2011; what’s more, this version seems to be virtually the only version to have made it to the internet, as every other source I’ve found for it is both dated later than this one, and consists of the same or a near-identical chunk of text copied and pasted and republished over and over and over again.
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The salt water variation also serves a slightly different purpose than the other Elevator Game. It describes its function as follows: “이건 다른세계보다는 죽은 이를 만나기 위한 방법으로 쓰입니다” — or, translated roughly via Google Translate, “It’s used as a way to meet the dead rather than [go to] another world.” The point of it, then, isn’t simply to transport you to another plane of existence; it’s to allow you to visit with the spirits of those who have passed on.
I’m not sure why this particular game didn’t take off in quite the same way as the Elevator To Another World version did — but it’s fascinating all the same.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A building — ideally an apartment building — that satisfies the following conditions:
- It is at least five stories tall;
- The floors are accessible both by stairs and at least one elevator;
- The elevator has a cancel button;
- And, the elevator does not normally open to the second floor.
- Salt water. It is recommended that you carry it in a water bottle, thermos, canteen, or similar.
- A person you would like to see. This person MUST be deceased, and ideally someone you knew personally in life.
- Begin at any time.
- Enter your chosen building and proceed directly to the elevator on the ground/first floor.
- Use the “up” button to call the elevator. Do NOT use the “down” button.
- When the elevator arrives, board it. Do NOT board it if someone else is already inside and shows no sign of leaving. Do NOT board it if someone else boards with you. You MUST board the elevator alone.
- Press the button for the third floor.
- Before the elevator reaches the third floor, press the “cancel” button. You MUST press this button before the elevator passes the second floor.
- If you have performed this action correctly, the elevator will stop on the second floor.
- If the elevator does not stop on the second floor: Do not proceed. Return to the first floor and exit both the elevator and the building. Do not look back. You may try again another time.
- If the elevator stops on the second floor: You may proceed. When the elevator doors open, take out your water bottle, thermos, or canteen and take a mouthful of salt water into your mouth. Do NOT swallow it; hold it there. Once your mouth is full of salt water, exit to the second floor.
- Find the stairs. Take the stairs to the fourth floor. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- While you travel to the fourth floor, think of the person you wish to see. Imagine them in as much detail as you can. Imagine what they look like, their attitude or demeanor, their favorite way of dressing — imagine them down to the very last detail. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- Do NOT exit at third floor on your way up. Do not even peek out onto the third floor from the stairway. Ignore the third floor completely. Continue to the fourth floor, thinking deeply of your desired person the entire time. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- When you arrive at the fourth floor, exit the stairs onto the floor itself. Continue thinking of the person you wish to see. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- Go to the elevator. If possible, check the floor indicator to see where in the building the elevator is currently located.
- If it is anywhere other than the second floor: You may try to proceed, but you will most likely encounter failure. Should you choose to proceed, call the elevator using the “up” button and continue on to Making Contact: Step 2. Should you choose NOT to proceed, take the stairs back down to the first floor and exit the building. Do not look back. Once you have exited the building, you may spit out the salt water. You may try again another time, if you wish.
- If it is still on the second floor: Call the elevator using the “up” button.” Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- Note: If the elevator does not have a floor indicator, you’ll simply have to guess whether or not it remained at the second floor while you were traveling on the stairs. Good luck; you’ll need it.
- When the elevator arrives, and the doors open, look inside — carefully. What do you see?
- If you see an empty elevator: Condolences; the ritual has not succeeded. Enter the elevator, return to the first floor, and exit both the elevator and the building. Once you have exited the building, you may spit out the salt water. You may try again another time, if you wish.
- If you see the person you wished to see: Congratulations; the ritual has succeeded. Enter the elevator and enjoy their presence, but do not speak to them. Proceed to Returning Home: Step 1. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- If you see someone you do not recognize: Enter the elevator, but do not speak to this person or meet their eyes with your own. (See: Concerning The Person In The Elevator for additional information.) Proceed to Returning Home: Step 1. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- When you have re-entered the elevator, press the button for the highest floor in the building. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water; continue holding it in your mouth.
- When the elevator arrives at the highest floor in the building, and the doors slide open, exit the elevator. Do NOT turn around or look back into the elevator as you do so; keep your eyes straight ahead of you. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water — yet.
- Wait for the elevator doors to close. Do NOT turn around or look back at the elevator. Do not spit out or swallow the salt water — yet.
- When the elevator doors have closed — FULLY closed — you may spit out the salt water. Do not swallow it.
- You may return to the first floor however you wish. However, it is not recommended that you take the elevator; take the stairs if possible.
- When you reach the first floor, exit the building.
- I hope you got what you came for.
Although this ritual may be performed in any building with at least five floors and an elevator, it is best performed in a high-rise building or a building with at least 10 floors. This is because buildings of this variety are more likely to satisfy the requirement that the elevator not normally open to the second floor. For the purposes of this ritual, the second floor of the building should be reserved not for residential dwellings or other general uses, but as a mechanical floor or interstitial space — functions which will prevent the elevator from opening on such floors unless instructed to do so in a particular or specific way.
The floor numbering conventions specified here are such that the ground floor is considered the first floor; the floor above that is considered the second floor; etc. If you are located in a region where the floor numbering conventions are different, see the “Additional Notes” section here for possible adjustments which may be made in order to play.
Sources and reports sometimes note that, should the elevator move away from the second floor after you have exited it during Venturing Out: Step 7 and Making Contact: Step 1, the ritual will inevitably fail. Should you encounter a failure condition, it is recommended that you abandon your current attempt, return to the first floor, and exit the building. Try again another time — perhaps in a different building, using a different elevator, or both.
You MUST use the SAME ELEVATOR CAR for each step involving the elevator. Do not use a different elevator car, even if it is within the same bank of elevators. Do not use an elevator located within a different area of the building. It is recommended that you confirm that the elevator you intend to use in the building you have chosen to perform this ritual is accessible at all necessary points and locations throughout the duration of the game BEFORE you begin playing.
Do NOT swallow the salt water. When it is safe to do so, ONLY spit it out.
Concerning The Person In The Elevator:
Encountering a person whom you do not recognize in the elevator during Making Contact: Step 2 may arise as a result of one of two conditions: Either the person you were thinking about — the person you’d like to see — is not deceased, or you simply were not thinking about the desired individual deeply enough, or at all.
This person is usually described as “a strange-looking woman.” Whether or not she is related to — or perhaps even the same as — the woman who may or may not enter on the fifth floor during the Elevator To Another World ritual is unknown. For safety reasons, it is therefore best to avoid looking at or speaking to her, should you encounter her — just in case.
For this reason, it is not recommended that you attempt to perform this ritual while thinking of someone you do not know for certain to be deceased, while you are distracted and unable to focus fully on the person you wish to see during Venturing Out: Steps 8 through 11 or without a specific person in mind who you wish to see in the first place.
A Final Note:
It is NOT recommended that you attempt to meet up with someone who bore a grudge against you in life.
Doing so may free them from the confines of the Other World.
And the last thing you want to do is unleash an angry spirit into your own world… right?
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[Photo via Bruno Kelzer/Unsplash]