Previously: The Salt Merchant Ritual.
In Japan, there’s a particular variety of ritual game — a subgenre, if you will — called “psychic tests” or “tests to see if you have inspiration”: Ritual games that function as methods intended to reveal to you whether or not you’re sensitive to the supernatural, including but not limited to the ability to see ghosts. That’s what the House Window Game is — a psychic or inspiration test that’s been circulating the Japanese language internet since at least early 2008 (and possibly longer).
The House Window Game is quite similar to the Testing Game — so similar, in fact, that it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the Testing Game is what resulted when the House Window Game made the jump to another language and culture.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
There are some key differences, though. For one thing, the Testing Game focuses on opening doors and traveling through rooms; the House Window Game, meanwhile, focuses on opening (surprise!) windows, not doors, and is less concerned with the traveling aspect. The House Window Game also has a more formal method laid out to end the ritual than the Testing Game does.
The setting, too, is a little bit different: The Testing Game instructs players to imagine the place they grew up, while the House Window Game asks players to picture either “their parents’ house” or the place where they currently live. It’s worth noting that “parents’ house” can be analogous to “the house where you grew up” — but I think it’s still different enough to be of note.
There are a couple of different versions of the House Window Game floating around, some of which are more detailed than others; there’s also a story that uses it as a central conceit that was posted to 2ch in 2017 that’s passed around frequently as a creepypasta. (It’s post #125 at the link, for the curious.) It’s easy to play, and not terribly dangerous… but as always:
Play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- None. (See: Additional Notes.)
Unlocking The Door:
- Begin at any time, in any place.
- Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath, or two, or three. Relax. Put yourself into as calm a state as you can.
- Keep your eyes closed.
- Are they still closed?
- Good. Keep them that way until told to do otherwise.
- Now — with your eyes still gently but firmly shut — don’t peek! — imagine your home. Imagine yourself standing outside of your home, in front of the door. Picture the exterior in as much detail as you can.
- When the image of your home’s exterior is firmly fixed in your mind, approach the front door. Try the handle. It’s locked. Unlock it, open the door, and step inside.
Opening The Windows:
- In the physical world, keep your eyes closed. Inside your mind, keep your eyes open. Look around. Imagine the inside of your home, down to the very last detail.
- When the image of your home’s interior is complete, begin moving through it, opening each and every window as you go. You need not visit every room, necessarily; if it does not have a window, you do not need to go inside, although you may if you wish. Your goal is open all of the windows in the home, one by one.
- If your home has more than one floor, open all the windows on the ground floor first; then move to the next floor up and do the same; and so on and so forth, for as many floors as your home has. Start from the bottom of the home, and work your way up.
- Remember the order in which you opened the windows. This is important. Do not forget.
- Now: Once you have opened all the windows, move through the house again and close all of the windows. However, you must do so in a particular fashion: You must close all of the windows in the reverse of the order in which you opened them. The last window you opened should be the first you close; likewise, the first window you opened should be the last you close.
- Complete all of these actions inside your mind only. In the physical world, remain still, quiet, and calm, with your eyes closed — always closed.
- Once you have closed the last window, return to your home’s front door. Take one last deep breath — one last look around — and then open the door.
- Exit the home. You must leave the home through the same door you entered.
- When you are outside, close the door and lock it once more.
- In the physical world, open your eyes.
Interpreting The Results:
- Now: Think back on your journey. Did you see anyone as you made your way through the house?
- If you did not: You do not have inspiration. You will go about your life untouched by anything beyond the physical world. Some may be disappointed to achieve these results; others may feel relief. But the results are neither good, nor bad — it is up to you what you do with them.
- If you did: You have inspiration. You may find, as you move through life, that you are attuned to certain… reverberations in a way that others are often not. Some may be ecstatic to achieve these results; others may be frightened. But the results are neither good, nor bad — it is up to you what you do with them.
- If you saw no one, but felt a presence or saw a shadow: You may have inspiration — but perhaps not. You may find throughout your life that you are able to sense things others are not — or you may not. You may be confused to achieve these results. But although the results themselves may not be either good or bad in and of themselves, you may wish to tread carefully from here on out.
- If the shadow reached out and touched you: Do not play this game again.
There are no requirements to play this game, other than yourself — your mind, and a willingness to open it up. You may find it useful to secure access to a dark, quiet room in which to play, and/or pillows, blankets, or other comfortable seating to settle down in before you begin; however, this particular environment and these additional supplies are not necessary in order to play.
There is some debate about which “home” or “house” you must picture in order to play this game. Some sources specify that you should use the home in which you currently live; others, however, specify using the home belonging to your parents, or the home in which you spent the majority of your childhood. Still others simply say to imagine the first “home” of yours that comes to mind. There does not appear to be consensus, nor any understanding of whether some types of homes may achieve better results than others. It is up to the player’s discretion how they wish to play.
The word “house” is used interchangeably with “home” — that is, you need not imagine a single-family house as you play. An apartment, mobile home, or any other domicile may be used, as long as it is a place you have lived in your lifetime. In the event that you imagine an apartment, the home’s “exterior” and “front door” may be understood as the exterior and door of the individual unit, rather than of the apartment building as a whole.
You may play with bystanders nearby, if you wish. Ensure that they know to be quiet, and to leave you be until you are finished playing. You may, upon concluding the game, share what you experienced with them afterwards. If they are of sound judgment, and you trust them, their insights may prove valuable to you when it comes to interpreting your results.
Concerning Your Results:
It is worth repeating: Your results, whatever they are, are neither good, nor bad; it is up to you what you do with them.
As long as you are not touched by a shadow, that is.
If you are…
….You’d best be careful.
You attract a certain kind of spirit, it seems.
And they are not — NOT — harmless.
Follow The Ghost In My Machine on Twitter @GhostMachine13 and on Facebook @TheGhostInMyMachine. And for more games, don’t forget to check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available now from Chronicle Books!
[Photo via FrankWinkler/Pixabay]