Sometimes, the scariest online games aren't frightening because of what's onscreen, but because of what's lurking behind it. These unsettling encounters result in some truly creepy gamer stories.
Glitches, ghosts in the code, gamers who creep a little too literally - the programmed night is dark and full of terror. You might have played some of the scariest games, battled the most fearsome monsters, survived the most dreadful campaigns of terror (or perhaps did NOT survive), but what about when the world doesn't stop at your thumbs? What about the horrors of interconnectivity? What about when virtual things get a little too real?
Spanning the gamut from mildly unsettling to bonafide creepypasta, scary online gaming stories are a-plenty in this modern age of MMOs. Gather 'round the pixel campfire and read on as players recount the freaky things that have happened while playing online games.
A Most Terrifying Computer Virus
A few years ago when Steam was old — real old, the retro days of Half-Life and Team Fortress — I had an account that I used to play Half-Life death match and generally play mods on.
I had just about 1 friend on Steam at the time who I knew well. I never really interacted with people in online games.
I got this add from a guy called "Toymaker26". I didn't recognise the name from any game I had played so I declined. A week later on the same day, at around the same time I get a notification that Toymaker26 has added me as a friend which was creepy to say the least.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt by accepting, thinking maybe he was a real life friend or something. As soon as I did a chat box pops up from him saying "Hi, are you ok?" Or something to that effect, but before I could say the generic "I'm good, you" he sent me this link that was clearly a virus link. Being a fearless bastard I clicked it just to see what would happen (not really I just clicked it cause I didn't know any better) boy what a mistake. The web page opened up with all these really low quality pictures of people mutilated and this sound playing in the back like a really distant laugh that was on a loop. I remember my heart literally drained from fear, I'm sure you know the feeling. I obviously clicked out of it but my desktop background was a close up of one of the fucked up images. My disc drive kept opening and closing and a message box popped up asking if I was okay before my computer completely shut down.
It never turned on again. A forever blue screen. We had to get a new PC I remember, apparently every file on the computer had been corrupted, even BIOS data (somehow?)
I still have no idea who Toymaker26 is to this day or why he did it. But all I know is those were some amazing hacking skills he's got. I was about 13 at the time and I was scared sh**less. That experience makes me so afraid of the hacking world of the Internet.
When The World Of Warcraft Invades Your Personal Space
I had a total creep for a WOW guild leader.
After a few months break, I renewed my WOW account and transferred servers to be with this girl I used to play with. We had always been two peas in a pod, and she convinced me to come join her guild. She was a very pretty young lady, so it was no surprise she had a lot of the guys in our guild wrapped around her finger. Including the guild leader, who mistakenly thought they were dating.
When he realized it wasn't what he thought, the guild leader had a complete f***ing raging meltdown, and came to me for guidance. Turns out he lived about eight or so blocks from me (he discovered this because many of us had exchanged Myspace accounts beforehand), and naturally he wanted to get together and "talk about it". I declined obviously, since he was kind of a weird dude (think Vork from "The Guild"), but soon it became clear that he was seeing me as more than just a guildmate and that he was very eager to meet me.
One day, he messaged me online and says, "I think I was driving behind you today lol. Do you live on _____ street?" The only place I had gone to that day was the college I attended, which was not 2 minutes away from where I was living at the time. I drove a trashy convertible at the time, so I take it that's how he recognized me. And like I said, he did live about eight blocks from me.
He started making jokes about climbing through my window and "scaring me" at night and stuff. He just loved joking about knowing where I lived, the types of trees in my yard, the cars in my driveway, the things he saw going on outside whenever he allegedly had driven by. This went on for quite a while despite me telling him to knock it off, and I didn't think it was appropriate to call the cops over someone knowing my mom planted roses outside that day. After a few months, I started playing on another server and we lost connection (thank god).
TL;DR: World of Warcraft guild leader recognized me in my car, nonchalantly followed me to my house. Continued to occasionally drive by my house and made jokes about knocking on my window at night and other creepy stuff.
Halo Hide And Seek
I recently built a new pc. It wasn’t exactly powerful, as I wanted to spend as little money as possible on it. It was good enough to run source engine games like TF2, but nothing like BF3 or Crysis. I was strictly looking for the cheapest way into PC gaming. Looking for a bit of nostalgia before I began playing some Team Fortress, I popped in my Halo CE into the disc tray and installed it. I have some fond memories playing with my group of friends and wanted to relive a bit of my past.
I instantly started to have problems installing it. Aside from all of the minor compatibility issues this game has with windows 7, I didn’t have my cd key. Well technically I still have it, but the game’s cd key was tied to some other pc that was long gone. I was fed up with that, so I just booted up another game, slightly frustrated that I wasted about an hour of my life on that thing.
It didn’t take long for me to start looking for workarounds so I could play.. I eventually found a keygen, and the game started to install. I picked the name I used years ago, Distioned, and hopped into the multiplayer lobby. I just picked a random game of CTF, and joined to see if everything worked. It didn’t. A pop up appeared and said the server’s client needed to be updated. The error messages got weirder and weirder. I should have taken a screenshot of some of them. Some of them were almost laughable. Random selections of words would replace the error messages. Completely random.
It seemed no one else online had this problem. The ones that did were told to try updating their game. This information was no use to me because I updated when I first booted it up.
However, I still wanted to play. It didn’t really matter if no one could join my gimpy out of date server.. So I went and created an internet game. Before this, I started up fraps to capture any weird error messages.. I chose CTF on Bloodgulch. The game started to load
Now some of you guys that have played Halo extensively know that there are certain points on any given map you can glitch up to so people can’t find you. These points require that you utilize glitches like pushing yourself through a wall with a vehicle. But there was always one I couldn’t get to. It took such crucial mouse movements and careful precision to even make it to the first step. Since I had nothing better to do in an empty server, I reattempted the glitch.
So I got myself into a ghost, and made my way over to the middle-ish part of the map. I lined myself up against the pillar, and began trying to nudge myself into the wall. If you hurl yourself towards it too slowly, you’ll just be knocked off to the side. If you do it too quickly, you will just plain knock yourself through the wall, into the abyss. Getting in between there is where I’m trying to get. A few tries later, and I’m in. that was the easy part. The next few parts are hard to explain in text. I had to kinda shimmy across the wall until I start to get pushed off by something invisible. I now have to jump on that invisible thing without sliding off. It’s cake from there. A few tries later, and I had it. The vantage point this glitch had on the center of the map made it rightfully so for it to be the hardest to achieve.
My victory was cut short when my spartan drops dead. What the crap. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Maybe I was out of bounds for too long? I couldn’t think about this for too long until I started dying randomly even more. I started to get creeped out. The text just said “Distioned died” I’ve never seen a pop up like this in Halo before.
I went down into my base just to make sure nothing was hitting me. I sat there for what seemed like minutes. I was observing everything. I leaned forward so my face was almost touching the monitor. My screen went blank for a second. I didn’t have any time to notice what was going on when I heard this horrible screeching noise. I reacted by knocking my headphones onto the keyboard. Everything was dark. Dark to the point where I could barely make out anything. Then a player joined.
The player who just joined my seemingly impossible to join server, was named juliet. I was thinking this must’ve been the person who was making me drop dead. it also must have been her who made that horrible sound. It seemed impossible for her to control my spartan’s life. Or even emit noises that aren’t in the game. I wanted to see if I could go shoot at her so I took off to the blue base. I was thinking maybe this was all a coincidence and a couple other players will join and this will just be a normal game of CTF.
The outward appearance of the blue base seemed normal, but inside was something disturbing. On the left wall in the back, there were words which I made out to be “find me” I was just about to exit right out of the game, But I was stopped in my tracks when a text appeared on my screen. I nearly forgot you could chat in this game. juliet: =] Distioned: who are you? juliet: lets play hide and seek =]
After I dropped dead once again, I quit and shut down my server. I didn’t want to hear whatever she had to say next. And frankly, I was kinda creeped out by the whole situation. I honestly don’t know if this is a normal occurrence. Maybe the community has been overrun with hackers and this happens all the time.
So the gist of my plan is to play hide and seek with her and see where this takes me. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t make the connection between “find me” and her saying “lets play hide and seek”. But here’s the problem. This was probably just some one time thing. A random occurrence. Although I’m giving myself the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think she will ever come back. I’m still going to play though. Same setup and everything. It probably gives me the best chance of “summoning” juliet again.
And with all that out of the way, I don’t think I have much else to say. Nothing much has happened since I quit out of the game. I mentioned that I had something creepy happen on my game during the trip. They seemed to find this hilarious and was their main source of ridiculing me, saying things like “Oh, should we pack it up early? I don’t want to keep you from performing an exorcism on your game disc”
I’m going to play again as soon as possible. So expect another update tomorrow. I think I’m going to split my updates into different threads so I don’t risk hitting the character limit. But I also don’t want to be spamming your board. So what do you guys think? Paste ‘em all together or split em up?
I didn’t sleep last night. I was too excited to play. No, excited isn’t the word. I was anxious to play. I wanted to get this out of the way so I could move on with my life. All I needed to do was just see if she would join again and play hide and seek. So why not pull the band aid and play so I can rest easy tomorrow?
Well I did just that. I started up Halo and created a LAN server instead of an internet server. This time I’d know if some weird crap was really going on. I hit start server and the map started to load up. Well the first thing I noticed was I could actually see again. Everything looked normal enough. This wasn’t nearly as scary as I remember it being.
I decided to give myself a 10 minute time limit to wait before I tried switching it to an internet game or just calling it a night. All I could do was fill the time by aimlessly wandering around bloodgulch. This obviously got boring after 3 - 4 minutes. I started calling out to her.
Distioned: hey juliet? getting tired here..
Distioned: What am I supposed to do?
That seemed to do it. juliet joined. A strange mixture of fear and confusion came over me because I thought I had everything figured out. I thought that she was just a random player who was screwing with me. But now, it looks as if she was waiting for me. and on top of all that, I was playing on a LAN game. I didn’t believe what I was seeing. Am I now supposed to believe she is some sort of magical technological ghost that transcends space and time? I don’t know what I believe anymore.
juliet: do you want to play now?
My game froze and everything went dark again. But this time There was a noise. It was just looping over and over again.. I started to look around for her, barely able to keep my mouse under control because I was shaking. I felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t really want to do this. I don’t know why I said yes to her. But I feel like I’d be letting you guys down if I didn’t see this through.
juliet: Count to 10.
So I counted to ten. I was just going to search from the back of the map to the front. That seems like the most efficient way to go about this. I eventually found her crouched in a corner looking at me.
juliet: You found me.
I didn’t know whether or not she was just going to leave after I found her so I immediately asked her
Distioned: Who exactly are you?
juliet: That’s not the question you should be asking.
Distioned: Then what should I be?
juliet: You should be looking for a place to hide.
And with that, she quit out of the server. I tried for an hour after this trying to get her back. I even made a server named “juliet please join” None of that worked. She’s gone. After all, she got what she wanted. A simple game of hide and seek.
Things That Happen After You Log Off
Before reading this, I just want to clarify that this post is not an attack on the honor system of League of Legends; it is more of a personal statement...
My client crashed midway through a game two days ago, and I was feeling pretty tired, so I logged off and went to sleep. After relogging today, I noticed that I had received an honor from that game, the "honorable opponent" one, to be exact. I originally thought someone DDOS'd it, but the fact that I received honor from it was weird to me. I couldn't really remember what that game was about, since it was so short, but luckily, I had the recording of it on my LolReplay, despite it not showing up on my match history.
I played Nocturne jungle for that game, like I usually do, more recently now because of the new skin, and I had a pretty standard build for about 15 minutes, which was a madred's razor, some boots, a vamp scepter and a few health pots up until the point that my client crashed.
Upon re-watching it, I realized off the bat that something was...off about that game. The enemy jungler never connected. In the loading screen, his/her name never appeared. "Typical" I thought. "The name is probably in another language." But after the screen loaded, I saw that he simply had no name. Stranger yet, he was also a Nocturne player. From the beginning, he sat still in his base.
I might as well describe to you what happened during the game. We started out normally, and I jungled and ganked, but no one died for the first 15 minutes or so. Everyone was reasonably leveled and farmed, with every player being in the 6-10 level range, save for the enemy Nocturne. It was at 15:13 when I used my ultimate to get what seemed to be an assured kill on the enemy Soraka. This is when the game crashed... or when I thought it crashed. My recorder thought otherwise.
In the replay, the screen glitched for about 10 seconds after I ulted her, with everything freezing in place. When I was actually playing the game, it was during this glitch that my client froze and closed on me. But in the replay, after the glitch, it showed us all still playing... this REALLY freaked me out, but I kept watching. Apparently, my "character" secured the kill on the Soraka, recalled and continued to jungle. That's when I read the eerie message... "...has reconnected." The no-name jungler on the other team got back into the game somehow and started to jungle. I felt uneasy watching him.
The other lanes kept at each other, and it didn't take me long to figure out the next oddity. The Soraka "I" had killed never respawned. When I pressed tab to see the death timer, there was none...she just stayed dead. "An ally has been slain." This time someone on my team died, the Ezreal, and it was the enemy Nocturne who killed him. He never respawned either. I froze in my chair, watching people die, one by one, each death leaving a lasting impression on me.
The Nocturne that I was "supposedly" playing did everything I would have done, which weirded me out even further. It was almost like I was still playing in that match. After each player died, none would respawn. I was always on edge whenever I saw my character getting low on health, to the point that I was gripping my desk. I can't really explain why, but it's a nerve-wracking feeling knowing that if your character died, they wouldn't come back... I kept telling myself it was a glitch, but after what happened next, I found it hard to.
There were only 3 people left. Me, the no-name Nocturne, and the enemy mid-laner, a Diana. At this point, my eyes were glued to the screen, and I couldn't help but watch as my character pursued her. This was the death that disturbed me the most. My character ulted towards her, as I normally would have done, and met her at her wraith camp. Just as my character got there, I saw the enemy Nocturne standing still in the passage to their red buff... he just stood there and watched my Nocturne destroy the enemy Diana.
After her death, everything was still.
The minions didn't move, the projectiles were frozen in place, along with my character. Everything was frozen except the no-name jungler. He moved towards me and paused for a second. The timer in the recording was still going. Curious as to why he just stood there, I checked my settings on the recording. The chat box was unchecked. I remember my fingers shaking a bit as I clicked to check it.
The no-name jungler had been typing throughout the entire match after the apparent crash. All he said, over and over, every single minute was, "KILL THEM ALL. KILL THEM ALL." Up until I had killed Diana. I felt my heart sink when I read those words, decorated across my screen. What he said soon after was what sent chills throughout my entire body.
"Thank you for your assistance."
And that's when the game ended. No nexus was destroyed, no surrender vote was cast. It just ended. Horrified at what I just witnessed, I immediately took down the names of everyone in that game. After a bit of searching, I found that none of them played another game after that one. I'm still checking every few minutes, hoping that one of them will get in a game soon. I don't really know what happened to those people, and I don't think I want to know...
I have since deleted the recording from my computer. I don't want anything to do with that replay...
The image of seeing the "honorable opponent" message on my screen from logging in is still burned in my head... never have I felt so undeserving.