Top 10 Scariest Scenes in Gaming

Sometimes it takes only one scene in a video game to make us go to bed with all the lights on in the house.

There is something so visceral about these creepy moments since we are forced to not only be a spectator, but a participate in the action. Games have a million and one ways to scare us, but these games managed to take things to a whole other level. 

These are the scenes that still pervade my dreams and make my stomach churn at the mere thought. If you are looking for some of the best examples of horror in gaming, you’ve come to the right place. 

Resident Evil

10. Resident Evil – Who Let the Dogs in 

Resident Evil upped the creepy factor with its fixed camera angles, sound design, and the horde of the undead.

However, nothing can beat the moment when you are casually walking through the mansion, and a dog suddenly bursts through the window, sending shards of glass flying. There is only a split second of confused hesitation before it begins to bolt at you. 

Resident Evil already feels claustrophobic enough, but as you run down the narrow hallway with a dog in hot pursuit, only for another dog to burst through a window further up, well, my heart can only take so much trauma in a given time period. 

The Walking Dead: Season 1

9. The Walking Dead – Surprise Menu Item

After finally finding some semblance of safety, Lee and the gang have walked into a new nightmare. Lee, after having explored the St. John home where he finds Mark barely alive and learns that the meal that is about to be eaten downstairs is, in fact, from their friend. 

Sprinting downstairs, Lee goes to warn everyone to differing results depending on the prompt the player chooses. If you choose the wrong prompt, you’ll be forced to watch Clementine eat some of the meat. This may be the single most horrific thing in this game as a feeling of guilt washes over you – you let down the girl you swore to look over.

BioShock

8. BioShock – Shocking Checkup

Wandering around Rapture isn’t necessarily a cheerful experience. At worst, you’re only going to run into a Big Daddy or a Spider Splicer that jumped from the ceiling. 

Except there is one jump scare that still gets me every time that I boot up the game after a long hiatus. In the Medical Pavillion, if you are inquisitive like me and stop by all the different rooms searching for plasmids and money, you will come across Painless Dental. 

Inside, a roaming Doctor can be heard but not seen as you make your way through its halls. Eventually, you stop to pick up some supplies, turn around, and he will be right there leering over you. He might be easy to take down, but for a few seconds, it feels like my journey in Rapture is over. 

Outlast

7. Outlast – A Routine Doctor Visit

At this point in Outlast, you have largely been able to avoid coming into the clutches of any one of the inmates of the asylum. That all changes when your back is against the wall, and the only thing you can do is try to trust the voice speaking to you through a speaker, but maybe taking your chances with the thugs would have been better. 

Richard Trager immediately incapacitates you when you reach his level and takes you to a very dirty bathroom to torture you. You are forced to watch as he tries out various tools until he settles on the one resting in the urinal.

He then proceeds to remove a couple of your fingers, and though you are able to ultimately escape, the stubs of your fingers are a constant reminder of how quickly things can go bad. 

P.T.

6. P.T. – Got a Sinking Feeling

P.T. will go down in history as the most exciting and successful demo for a game that was never released. From the terrifying entrance of Lisa to the overall pacing of the experience, it’s no wonder why. However, it’s the scene where you stumble into a dark bathroom that takes the cake. 

Inside, you’ll hear the pathetic cries of something from the sink where you see a fetus-looking creature writhing about in some blood.

There is something profoundly grotesque and disturbing about this scene that has only enforced the idea that I never want a child. And it serves to make any further progression in this game feel like a task only an insane person would undergo. 

Silent Hill 2

5. Silent Hill 2 – Hello Pyramid Head

Silent Hill has a lot of moments that make my skin crawl, but there are few things that make me feel gross to my core than seeing Pyramid Head for the first time.

This strange entity wears a pyramid on his head and is violently cruel under normal circumstances, but when we meet him initially, he is doing some pretty obscene things with some mannequins. 

The lifeless forms of the mannequins only serve to give this a more creepy atmosphere as he pelvic thrusts in them in the dark corner, and they ragdoll about. He then slinks away while dragging one of the mannequins by the foot. The quick cuts in the scene and sound design help to only make this a more deeply seared trauma in my brain. 

The Evil Within

4. The Evil Within – Meat Your Maker

The Evil Within doesn’t give you any time to acquaint yourself with its world as you are soon knocked unconscious and wake up in the clutches of some psychotic butcher. Initially, you can only see a bit of the bloody floor with a rat crawling around in the muck. 

You are hanging upside, and as you get a better look around, you can see others who are already dead hung by their feet, and your captor who is busy choosing a new piece of meat. 

You see him pass by with a muzzle and dragging a bleeding torso to his workstation. You are immediately hit with a sense to escape and get as far away from this man as possible. What follows is a terrifying chase through the lower levels of the asylum where your only defense is your will to survive. 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

3. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – Mia Gone Wild

There are plenty of unpleasant moments in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but few can top the level of betrayal and terror that you feel when you backtrack to the basement stairs at the beginning of the game and Mia crawls up out of the darkness and pounces at you while swinging madly. 

You’re stabbed multiple times, and eventually, your own hand will be chopped off by the hands of your own girlfriend.

It’s a grotesque opening but one that shows how perverse this disease is and how isolated Ethan really is among all the infected, even when it might not seem like it. I can’t help gripping my wrists and squirming every time I play this sequence.

Dead Space 2

2. Dead Space 2 – Stick a Needle in My Eye

Nobody likes needles, and Visceral Games sure knew that. They made the player go through a tortuous scene where they had to slowly control a needle that was meant to stab Isaac in the center of his eye. 

Under normal circumstances, this is a disgusting scene that I don’t want to take part in, but if you manage to mess up, the needle is shoved through Isaac’s skull leading to a death scene. It’s a completely damned if you do damned if you don’t moment. 

When I first bought the game in 2011, I think I put the game down for the afternoon when I reached this point. At the time, I was hyper squeamish to needles, and I couldn’t take the sight of it or risk having to do it more than once that day.

Silent Hill 3

1. Silent Hill 3 – Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Speaking of terrifying moments in this series, Silent Hill 3’s mirror room is one of the more horrifying things in these games. The player slowly approaches a wall-sized mirror where everything initially seems to check out. 

Your reflection mirrors your movements, and the room is normal. However, slowly things begin to change for the worse as your reflection slowly becomes covered in blood, and you watch as blood begins to crawl across the floor at your feet.

You are standing in a pool of boiling blood, and your reflection has stopped following your movements. And there is no escape as the door is locked, leaving you to soak in this cruel and bloody fate.

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