Children from all over the world have always gravitated towards morbid and ritualistic gameplay. Now with the Internet, these games can be shared in an instant, spreading like wildfire only to be reposted with new twists added a day later. Mirror summoning’s like Bloody Mary and in-depth rituals like Daruma-San have populated playgrounds and slumber parties all throughout history and certainly don't seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Levitation Games: Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board

Georgina Mascolo

What kid wouldn't be amused by levitation, it's no wonder why they'd try to master this trick. While the film, "The Craft" is what jumps to mind for most people when hearing light as a feather, stiff as a board, the game can actually be traced back as far as 17th century London, it was very popular during the plague outbreak.

There are variations, but the most common method is to have someone lay on the ground while the others surround them, and slide two fingers from each hand beneath them. Once everyone is in place, they should chant altogether:

"She's Looking Ill, She's Looking Worse,

She's Dying, She's Dead.

Light as a Feather. Stiff as a Board."

The last two lines are repeated until the subject has gently lifted into the air.

Tsuji-ura Or Crossroads Fortune Telling

Animoria Astrum

It is believed that ghosts and even the devil himself, walks along crossroads at night and with the proper ritual, you can conjure them up and ask what the future holds.

In Japan, this is an extremely popular game for children, a similar game is played in Europe called "Crossroads Divination." You take a comb and a veil, or something to hide your face, and you go to a crossroad after dark to summon a spirit. The summoning involves striking your finger across the teeth of the comb and chanting "Tsuji-ura, Tsuji-ura, grant me true response" three times. Then you wait for a stranger to come along. You cover your face with a veil (because the all-knowing spirits won't recognize you in this clever disguise) and you ask for fortunes.

This act was so common in Japan that they began producing Tsuji-ura Senbai, which translates to crossroads fortune telling crackers. Years later Chinese restaurants adopted these crackers and named them fortune cookies.

Bloody Mary

Wikipmedia Commons

Sleepovers and "Bloody Mary" go hand in hand across the globe. No matter where you are from you have heard of the practice of a group of giggling girls entering a candle-lit bathroom, only to stare into the mirror and recite the name "Bloody Mary" three times in hopes of conjuring her up for reasons unbeknownst to sane members of society.

Consequences for disturbing her slumber range from having your eyes gouged out, to horrible scratches, getting sucked into the mirror with her, being driven mad, and in some cases, instant death.

The true identity of Bloody Mary varies in different regions. The most common belief is that it is Mary I, Queen of England because she was actually nicknamed Bloody Mary during her lifetime after ordering so many Protestant executions during her five-year reign.

Some think it's the ghost of a witch named Mary Worth who was executed around the time of the Civil War. Others believe it's Mary Worthing, a beautiful but vain woman who committed suicide in the 1960s after suffering a disfiguration. Apparently, there are many blood-soaked ghosts named Mary a 10-year-old girl can summon in a bathroom.

The Midnight Game

The Ghost in My Machine

The Midnight game based on an old Pagan ritual that was meant to punish or scare anyone who broke Pagan laws. Now it's a popular game played by kids across the globe.

Just before midnight, you write your full name on a piece of paper and add a drop of your own blood, letting it soak in. Then you place it in front of a wooden door, light a candle and set it on top of the paper. Make sure you have a large container of salt to carry around with you for protection.

Knock on the door 22 times, it must be the stroke of midnight on your last knock. Open the door to let the Midnight Man into your home, blow out the candle, close the door, and immediately relight it. Now you must roam the dark house until 3:33 a.m. with your candle lit. If your candle goes out, it means he is close by and you have 10 seconds to re-light it before he sets your worst fears loose on you, driving you mad with the most terrible hallucinations he can conjure up, some even claim he'll gut you. If you fail to relight the candle, the salt can be used to create a protective circle around you. You must stay in the salt circle or successfully avoid him, keeping your candle lit until 3:33 a.m. when he finally leaves your home.

Hypnotic Trances: The Concentrate Game

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A commonly creepy practice of children from all over the world is to induce a state of hypnosis in one another, usually in order to predict how they will die. The game, Concentrate is the most popular in this category.

One child sits, closes their eyes, and becomes completely relaxed. A second child, the hypnotists, sits behind them and recites morbid verses as they gently thump or poke at their back to add an element of realism to the words.

"Concentrate. Concentrate. People are dying. Children are crying.

Stab a knife in your back. Let the blood drip down. Let the Blood drip down"

The hypnotist pounds on the victim as if stabbing, then trickles their fingers down their back as if it were the blood dripping. Each line is more morbid than the last and aligned with a physical sensation, lulling the child deeper into the trance.

Eventually, it leads up to an imaginary noose tied to the player's neck and they are pushed forward, this ends the trance and they are asked what color they saw when pushed. The color corresponds to a method of death.

The author of this morbid rhyme is unknown, but hypnosis or attempting to affect the mind with the power of suggestion is believed to have originated with the Hindus of ancient India. They referred to it as "Temple Sleep" because they would sleep in the temple to communicate with the gods in a meditative state. They believed they could cure the sick through hypnotic suggestion this way.

Sara, Sarita

Kids in Mexico play a game called Sara Sarita, named after two twin girls that were murdered by the janitor at their school. The girls wore matching coin necklaces and when the girls were found dead, one had landed on heads and the other on tails. It's said that the janitor fled and was never caught and the spirits of the two sisters still roam the earth. The children of Mexico believe they can summon these girls by saying "Sara Sarita can I enter your game?" while flipping two coins over their heads.

If they both land on heads the answer is yes, if they both land on tails the answer is no. Once accepted into their game they'll stay with you until you've asked to leave the game and they've granted you permission. To leave you must ask while flipping the coins over your head again. As before, if two land on heads that means yes. If both coins land on tails, that means no and they will remain with you until you've received a yes.

One Man Hide And Seek

The earliest known mention of this game was in 2007 on a horror-related Japanese website and it quickly spread across Japan. An English translation of the instructions was made available online in 2008, and soon kids and young adults across the world began posting their experience with the game all over the internet.

The game involves cutting a doll open and filling it with dry rice, then take one of your finger nail clippings and add it inside the doll as well. Using red thread, stitch the doll shut, wrap the remaining thread around the doll, tie off the ends. Fill the bathtub with water and get a cup of salt water and a sharp object ready for yourself, put them in your hiding place. Give the doll a name and wait until 3 a.m. to begin the game.

At 3 a.m. you say: "(your name) is the first it." Submerge the doll in the bathtub and leave it there. Turn off all the lights, switch on the television, and count to 10. Take your sharp object, go to the bathroom, get the doll and say: "I have found you (doll's name)" cut the red thread and say: "You are next it (doll's name)." Now go hide and fill your mouth with the salt water, don't swallow it. Come out of hiding and look for the doll, you may find it isn't where you left it because it's looking for you too. To end the game, find the doll and pour the salt water from your mouth and the cup on the doll, while repeating "I win" to the doll three times.

Daruma-San Or The Bath Game


Daruma-san is a dark, ritualistic version of the American game Red Light, Green Light, played by the children of Japan. The ritual takes place at bath time the night before the game. First, you fill a tub, turn off the lights, and get in. Close your eyes and begin washing your hair. While doing this you repeat:

“Daruma-san fell down. Daruma-san fell down.”

Your eyes should remain closed the entire time and the chanting should continue until you've finished washing your hair. You'll receive a mental image of a Japanese woman standing in the bathtub. She will fall and gouge her eye out on the tap. At this point you may hear something moving in the bathroom with you, keeping your eyes closed say: "Why did you fall in the bathtub?”

At this point, you can carefully get up (keeping your eyes closed) and leave the bathroom. You can open your eyes after you shut the door. Leave the bathroom exactly how it is and go to bed.

The next day you will feel her presence behind you, inching closer in a ghostly game of Tag. The object of the game is to evade her until midnight when you can trap her. Calling out "Tomare" will slow her if she gets too close. If you've kept her distanced just right, you'll be able to shout "Kitta" while making a chopping motion with your arm to cut her loose and win the game.

Chertik Or Little Devil

Scary for

In Russian folk tales, the devil is not satan from the bible, but an evil creature that looks like a man with hoofs, a horn, and a tail he keeps hidden under his clothes. He is the grandson of Baba Yaga, an old fearsome witch who dwells in the forest and eats children. The little devil knows many things and is deceptive and manipulative, yet the children of Russia enjoy calling out to him for answers anyway.

The name of the game is Chertik, or Little Devil and it requires children to draw a little devil inside a circle. Around the rim of the circle is filled with the letters of the alphabet and numbers zero through nine. Above the devil's head is written the words 'yes' and 'no,' basically creating a type of Ouija board, that serves as a direct link with the devil.

By candle light, a needle is threaded and its tip is heated in the candle's flame, then placed over the devil's heart. The participants call out:

"Forces of darkness I urge you to help. Chertik, Chertik Come!"

They chant until the needle points to 'yes,' then they may ask the devil questions, he will communicate through the needle and paper. In order to end the game, they must say "Chertik, Chertik, go away!" and burn the thread in the candle's flame, destroying the link with the devil.

Three Kings

Youth Connect

A more recent and heavily involved ritualistic game is known across the Internet as Three Kings. It is believed if every step is performed perfectly, you'll gain access to another dimension and be able to converse with two beings from that realm. You take three chairs, two mirrors, a fan, a candle and lighter, a bucket of water, an alarm clock and cell phone, and a personal item with great meaning to you into the darkest room in your house. You have a loved one nearby who knows what you're up to and can snap you back to reality with the bucket of water or phone call if needed. The personal item is used as a power object, it's there to keep you emotionally grounded.

At 11 p.m. set the chair that will be your throne in the center of the room facing north and the other two chairs off to the side at a 90-degree angle. The fan should be directly behind your throne and the mirrors placed in front in an angle that you can see them both in your perioral vision. The bucket of water should be just out of reach and off to the side. Set the alarm for 3:30 a.m., you can take a nap now but you must be in your chair by 3:33 a.m. If something prevents you from following this strict schedule or the placement of these objects, abort the mission.

At 3:33 a.m. you should be in your chair, the fan on at your back and the lit candle in front of you so you block the fan from blowing it out. Do not look directly at the mirrors or candle. Stare straight ahead and a Queen and Fool will appear in the reflections. Do not move for at least one hour and 11 minutes. You will have until 4:43 a.m. to ask your questions and answer theirs. Who they are is up to you to figure out. Who you are to them is for them to figure out. To end the ritual, blow out the candle a 4:44 a.m.