Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. XIX.
Y’all. This is the 20th edition of our Most Dangerous Games FAQ feature. We have done 20 whole pieces dating all the way back to 2015 attempting to answer all of your most pressing questions about various ritual games — probably with varying degrees of success, but still. It’s six years later now, and…
…That’s a lot of questions, and a lot of potential answers.
So here’s some more. New additions include the Bathroom To Another World, the Banana Tree Summoning Ritual, the Salt Water Variation of the Elevator Game, and the Spirit of the Pen, among others. Again, I can’t necessarily guarantee that they’re 100 percent correct — it’s all just my best guess, based on research, experience, and a few other factors — but, y’know, have at. I’ll add this volume to the Master FAQ as soon as I can. If you have other questions not covered here or by the Master FAQ, drop it in a comment on the page of the game in question for consideration for the next edition of the FAQ — and so other readers can weigh in.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
As always, play at your own risk.
Bathroom To Another World:
For those whose faucets don’t have heaters and can’t control the temperature of the water, will it be possible to play this game?
Unknown. You can try, but it’s possible it won’t work if you can’t adjust the water’s temperature.
Banana Tree Summoning Ritual:
Let’s say I choose to ask the visitor a question. Will she verbally answer it, or will she perform some sort of action to do so?
Either. Both. Neither. Anything goes; each experience is unique.
The Elevator Game – Salt Water Version:
If you do all of the steps correctly, and see whoever you were trying to see, are you allowed to non-verbally communicate — for instance, hugging them? Or perhaps writing on a piece of paper? Or should you just ignore them?
Sources don’t specify, but my sense is that it’s better/safer to just occupy the space with them — that is, not to touch them or to try to communicate complex thoughts or sentences in any way.
Why should we ignore the third floor completely? Is there something that shouldn’t be seen there?
That seems to be the case, yes.
The Spirit Of The Pen:
What happens when you play with one principal? Will it make it easier for the entity to do something… not desirable?
Something like that.
Why do some sources say you should use a green pencil, specifically? Is there significance to the color green?
Maybe. As in many cultures, colors can symbolize different things in the regions where this game is originally from; green specifically tends to represent wealth, but can also represent purity.
Note, though, that not all sources recommend using a green pencil in particular. You must make the choice: Will you play with a green pencil, or not?
Does “destroying” the pen or pencil mean I can dismantle it into pieces and that would satisfy the condition?
Dismantling it might work, yes. If I were you, though, I’d do as much as I could — not just dismantling it, perhaps, but also smashing those dismantled pieces, disposing of them in multiple different places, etc. Better to go too far than not far enough.
Gnome Gnome Come:
What would happen if you used a sweet which you were given using this ritual to summon them again?
Unknown; sources don’t specify. It could go either way, though: Either it’ll work just fine, or it won’t work at all — and, I would argue, it’s even possible that your visitor will be upset with you for doing so. They might interpret it as you rejecting their gift and might not react well to the rejection.
Regarding the debt: Is it just debt by owing money, or is it any kind of debt, even if it’s just by owing someone a favor?
Unspecified, but to be on the safe side, I’d interpret it to mean any debt you owe in any form — money, favors, the lot.
What happens when you do not clear existing debts you have before beginning?
At best, the ritual won’t work. At worst… well, no one really knows, but it’s… probably not good.
Even if it’s a debt for a small amount, like a single dollar?
Yes, even then.
With these kinds of games, it’s best to dot all your I’s and cross all your Ts. No detail is too small to pay attention to and take into account.
The Shoebox Telephone:
I’m not sure if this would be counted as cheating or not, but could you super/hot glue or wax the box shut once you’re done? That would definitely keep it from ever opening again by accident at least.
As long as you don’t have to open the box again to seal it, then I think it’s fair game! A wax seal that goes on the outside edge of the box is probably fine. To glue it shut, hot glue would probably work better than super glue; you can use it the same way you would a wax seal — that is, pile a whole bunch of glue on the edge where the box’s top meets the side and let it harden there — whereas super glue might require you to open the box to apply the glue. (I also wouldn’t try to faff around with super glue during the game itself — e.g. during Step 1 of Ending The Call—mostly because there’s so much that could go wrong there.) You could also tie the box up with twine, wrap a giant rubber band around it, etc.
The Little Piggy Game:
For added protection, should players tuck the blanket around their heads (gently, so as not to restrict one’s breathing), or should they just pull the blanket up over their face/head?
Either is probably fine!
If the blanket is pulled off a player’s face, should they keep their eyes closed since the rules say not to look or peek until the ritual is finished?
I would feel really uncomfortable having my feet uncovered. Do you think it would still work with another person doing it with you?
Alas, I don’t think it will. The early steps of the game instruct players to clear their playing space of all other people and pets, so in order to do it properly, you have to be alone. Sorry.
The Shuffle Game:
Does the playlist need to have a personal connection to me? Or can I just use anything I can find on Spotify? I am asking because I mostly listen to Death/Black/Pagan Metal. Totally dig this kind of music, but most in my audio library songs are rather grim in nature. So, shall I use some random pop music playlist, or would that just not work for me?
The choice of playlist or music library is totally up to you! If you feel like playing with your own genre-specific music library, you can do that; or, if you’d rather see what happens if you use something a little broader in scope, you can do that, too. Your call!
Ritual To Experience The Other Side:
The only mirrors I have that are tall enough are on the closet doors of my bedroom. They are regular mirrors, just screwed onto the doors, so I would not be using a door itself as a mirror, just something that’s attached to the door. Would this cause trouble, or is that ok?
That should be fine! By “don’t use a door or window,” what we really mean is, don’t use a door or window that is expressly not a mirror — that is, a glass door that tends to reflect the room back at you if lights are on inside at night, etc. As long as the mirror is an actual mirror, it can hang wherever it needs to, including on the back of, say, a closet door made of wood or what have you.
Can Player 2 hurt you at any point in the game? What if I run through their “body/presence” while trying to turn the lights on? Will they kill me?
According to the original source, your opponent “will not harm you during the game.” This may be assumed to be true even if you “run through” them as you would a cloud of mist. That doesn’t mean you’re not capable of experiencing harm during the game, though; you still might trip and fall, or suffer some other accident.
Amd know, too, that the real danger isn’t what happens during the game.
It’s what happens after it — especially if you lose.
Am I allowed to have more than one wish?
No. Don’t be greedy.
Can other people be in the house but not participate in the game? Will they be prone to danger from the spirit, or is it just the player?
Other people should not be in the house, regardless as to whether they’re participating or not. (Step 1 states specifically to clear your house of people and pets — and to make sure they know not to return to the house until after sunrise the next day — before you begin. Don’t skip steps!)
The Fed Up Game:
If you were to perform this ritual, what would happen to you in the world you left? Would you have never existed, or would you be considered dead?
Unknown. And unfortunately there’s not really a way for you to find out if you play the game yourself.
The Midnight Game:
What happens if you’re inside a salt circle and you see a shadow figure or the other signs that he’s near?
Do NOT leave the salt circle under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, and do NOT allow the circle to be disturbed in ANY WAY. You should be safe as long as you’re inside it — and as long as the line of salt that comprises it remains undisturbed.
If you step outside the circle — if you even accidentally damage one of the edges of the circle while you’re sitting in it — he’ll catch you.
Don’t let him catch you.
Staircase To Another World:
When it says a school building is recommended, do college campus buildings count as “school buildings” in such cases, or is it better to use an actual school that only has one building? I’d much rather do this in one of the buildings on my campus rather than make the trek to the local high school.
My sense is that the legend’s original intention was to use an elementary, middle, or high school, as those are the environments in which it would have been passed around from student to student. But technically a college campus building is a school building, so as long as the building you have in mind satisfies the other criteria, then you can always give it a shot. However it turns out? Well, there’s your answer.
Do you think walking backwards (or attempting to retrace your steps) would work as a return method?
Maybe, but to be honest, I am not willing to be the one to test it out!
One Person Chit-Chat:
Can this be played with another person?
Probably not. There’s a reason it’s called “One Person Chit-Chat” or “Talking Alone,” not “Chit-Chat With A Ghost” or “Talking With A Ghost” — the single principal is meant to be the only player.
I tried this a few months ago, and the wish seemed to come true a few days after, though it was a vague wish and may have been a coincidence. Can I try it again now, or is there a specific time I have to wait before doing it again?
There’s no specific amount of time you need to wait — but I’d use this ritual sparingly. Again: Don’t be greedy — because one day, it may catch up to you.
If the player wishes for something unrealistic like “I want to be healthy throughout my life” or “I don’t want to die until I’m 100 years or more,” would that wish be still fulfilled?
Those are actually both fairly reasonable wishes. They’re certainly not impossible; people can go through life without going through any difficult health issues other than standard wear-and-tear as they get older, and it’s not unheard of for people to die at the age of 100 or older. (As of this writing, the oldest living person in the world is 118 years old!) Furthermore, wishes do not have to be material objects for this particular ritual. These two options seem like fair game to me, so if you want to play with one of them in mind for your prize, then go for it.
How To Tell If Your House Is Haunted:
Would it be okay if you did this in a house you already paid for? Is it risky to stay in the house after you do it? If so, how risky?
You can definitely do it in a home you’ve already purchased or rented, as long as you either haven’t moved in yet or have only recently moved in. (I wouldn’t do it if you’ve lived in the home for more than six months or so, for instance — maybe a year at the outside.) But make sure you want to know what you want to know before you do it. If the game reveals something about your home you don’t like, and moving out in short order isn’t an option for you, then you might be stuck for a while. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
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