The Most Dangerous Games: The Midnight Game

Shadow man

Previously: The Three Kings.

It is believed that the Midnight Game was once an old pagan ritual used as a punishment for those who dared to disobey the gods. While this claim is unsubstantiated, the game has still become a popular activity for thrill seekers.

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As with all of Most Dangerous Games, proceed at your own risk – if you must proceed at all. It is recommended that you do not, under any circumstances, play this game.


  • At least 1 principal


  • 1 candle
  • 1 lighter or book of matches
  • 1 piece of paper
  • 1 writing implement
  • 1 pin
  • 1 wooden door, closed
  • Salt


The Invitation:

  1. Begin prior to midnight.
  2. Write your full name – first, middle, and last – on the piece of paper with your writing implement. Prick your finger with the pin and squeeze until a drop of blood appears. Dot the blood on the paper and allow it to soak in.
  3. Turn off every light in your home.
  4. Place the paper with your name and blood on it in front of the closed wooden door. Light the candle using the matches or lighter and place it on top of the paper. If you are using a taper, make sure it is placed in a candle holder .
  5. Knock on the door 22 times. The final knock must occur precisely when the clock chimes 12am. Open the door; then blow out the candle and close the door.
  6. Relight your candle immediately.

The Main Event:

  1. Keeping your candle in hand and your salt and matches or lighter close by, begin to move about your home.
  2. Should your candle go out, you must relight it within the next ten seconds. If you are successful, continuing moving about your home. Do not stop moving until 3:33am.
  3. If you are unsuccessful in relighting the candle, immediately surround yourself with a circle of salt. Remain inside the circle until 3:33am.

The Ending:

  1. At 3:33am, it is safe to stop moving or to step outside your circle of salt. You may also turn on the lights. The game is over.

Additional Notes:

The Midnight Game may be played with more than one player. In this instance, all players are principals; as such, each player must perform the Invitation individually.

The Invitation welcomes an entity known as the Midnight Man inside your home. The goal of the game is to avoid meeting the Midnight Man in the dark. Continually moving about your home will make it more difficult for him to find you; should you stop moving at any point, he will catch you. Accounts differ as to what befalls players caught by the Midnight Man. Some claim he will induce a hallucination of your worst fear until the end of the game; others claim he will remove your organs one by one. Both outcomes are to be avoided at all cost.

Indications that the Midnight Man is near include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sudden drops in temperature.
  • The sound of a soft whisper with no discernible source.
  • The appearance of a humanoid figure within the darkness.
  • The candle going out.

Should you experience any of the first three occurrences, leave the area immediately. Should you experience the fourth occurrence, following the previously given instructions, re: relighting the candle within the next ten seconds, will keep the Midnight Man temporarily at bay. Should you fail to perform this action correctly, the circle of salt will do the same.

Do not fail to do either. There are no known methods to abort the game.

At 3:33am, the Midnight Man will leave your home. After he has left, you may safely end the game.

Do NOT turn on any lights during the game.

Do NOT use a flashlight during the game.

Do NOT go to sleep during the game.

Do NOT use a lighter instead of a candle during the game.

Do NOT use a person’s blood other than your own during the game.

Do NOT attempt to leave your home during the game.

Do NOT attempt to provoke the Midnight Man during the game.

And most importantly: Do NOT assume that the Midnight Man has left your home for good at the conclusion of the game.

The Midnight Game: FAQ.


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96 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: The Midnight Game

  1. I have no idea of how to abort but I think it would be blowing out your candle and turning on the lights, then doing a purification ritual or cleansing ritual like spreading salt, and destroying the materials used, tear up and burn the paper (spread the ashes so the MM can’t use it anymore) use up the candle, the salt used to purify or cleanse, discard your writing material and toss the pin. Lighter and matches used up. I don’t know if it works but seeing that in candle rituals, blowing it out and turning on the lights seems to end the ritual or abort it most of the time, and very few games here use cleansing at the end but it’s a stay safe thing assuming that the MM isn’t going to be out forever.

    1. I don’t think blowing out the candle and turning on the light’s would even work. This is a game of hunter and hunted inside of a confined space and that would only serve to anger the Man; it would be more effective to blow out the candle and create a circle of salt before waiting it out. And if playing as a group and all decide to end the game together, all should be in the same room and blow out the candle, create a circle of salt, and sit and wait together. Or all of them work together to create a large enough circle that everyone may be together inside. In the case of intentional abort through this fashion, it probably would not matter if you blew out the candle or not. Just do not turn on the lights. It is bolded in the text to not turn on any lights. And furthermore, it also states that you should not assume that after the game is over, that the Man has left for good. So I think that goes double after provoking him by turning on a light, he may continue to terrorize you or the other player(s).

    2. As a pagan Wiccan, we used this for Samhain (halloween) you’re supposed to knock 24 times, for every hour. The midnight man is believed to be Charon or Hades. 🙂

      1. It is said that if you complete this game, you would get a huge amount of fortune for a year

    3. It would seem to me as though the principle is creating an egregore of themselves during this ritual. The way that the ritual is performed seems to create a negative charge within it.

    4. That is an extremely good idea but knowing the undoubtable stupidity that the most likely teenagers that will try this is have to add MAKE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT NEXT TO A LIGHT SWITCH WHEN YOU BLOW OUT THE CANDLE AND STAY AWAY FROM THE OTHER ROOMS. Don’t even reacheaper in to the light switch because the MM could easily grab you and pull you from the light also put salt on every way out of that room even the window and air ducts because if he can find a way to get in he will

  2. Hey. What if we’re in the salt circle and can’t move and we see a figure, hear voices or experience sudden drops in temperature??

  3. What if we can’t get the candle to light in 10 seconds and we’re in the salt circle and relight the candle. Clear the salt and start over?

    1. The Midnight Man cannot harm you while in the circle of salt. You must remain in the circle of salt until 3:33 a.m.

    2. It will not count if you relight the candle after the ten seconds are finished, if you haven’t re-lit the candle in ten seconds, the salt circle is your only defense

    1. I’m so curious to find out what happens if youd disobey one of the DO NOT and I need a volunteer anyone wanna play midnight man with me tell me in the comments!

      1. I don’t think anyone want to volunteer. And if there is one, I don’t think he/she might have a chance to tell you, so yeah. If you are curious though, remove it quickly.

  4. can you create several salt circles before the game? then run to the closest as needed? What about an uninvolved observer, will it work if someone follows you around whos not in the game? or if there just in the house?

    1. Once a circle is made you have to stay in it, else the protective charm is broken so making them before hand would not work. Thought if you make uncompleted ones and finish which ever one you end up in at that time it may work. But i would not recommend doing so because it can invite unwanted beings into the circle.

  5. Salt is said to ward off evil spirits and, if I’m not mistaken, is used in many protection spells. Pepper is used mainly for banishing. I’d stock up on both before I attempted this ritual. That way I could protect myself during the game and then banish the entity from my home/life afterwards.

    1. They are not part of the game and will be left unaffected. Only those who perform the ritual and invite him are part of the game.

  6. This is an odd question and I apologize if no one knows the answer. Every set of instructions I read says the front door must be wooden. I have a wooden front door; but there’s a window taking up half of it. Does that still count, or must it be entirely wooden?

  7. Suppose for example I attempted to play the game then somebody walks in through the wooden door I chose. What happens? I live on my own and sometimes my parents pay me surprise visits and I obviously don’t want them to get hurt in the process….

    1. I have one doubt.. What will happen if we leave the house in middle of the game or turn on the lights and go to sleep in between?? Escpecially when we leave the house can anyone clear this doubt

      1. If you leave the house during the game the Midnight Man will supposedly take over your house and make it his own. Turning on lights during the game will provoke the Midnight Man which may result in him attacking you. If you sleep during the game since it requires you to be moving around then the Midnight Man will find you and attack you. Hope this was helpful 🙂

      2. You don’t want to. Believe me, I played it and it was the scariest experience ever. My friend was shouting and screaming when we were in the circle at 3:32, because she said she saw him. Apparently he told her to get outta the house. I guess he wanted to trick us… I pulled her in like NO. I will never mess with this paranormal crap again. I recommend you don’t either. She almost got out and I swear I heard a whisper saying… I will tear you… I will kill you…

    2. the ritual will be interrupted and there for is invalid. but it could cause unwanted consequences, so avoid that situation if you can.

    3. I doubt your parents would go over to you at midnigt/ in the time between midnight and 3:33. Also I don’t think they’d be involved in the process if they entered whilst, though they might put you in danger.

  8. Maybe you should do this ritual when you know no one is going to come knocking on your door to surprise you. Even better, don’t attempt this ritual. I have a question for you all, why do you want to play this ritual, are you curious of what might happen? What is it, because I cannot come to terms with it. Me being a person who wants to try everything wouldn’t even attempt to do this, maybe I’m too scared, haha.

  9. DO NOT number 5
    what if I did use someone else’s blood? could I use the blood and name of someone I hate to give them horrific hallucinations or possibly kill them?

    1. i am not sure what would happen but since it is listed as a “do not” there must be unwanted consequences for the person who attempts to use the wrong blood and name.

  10. If I fill hula hoops with salt beforehand, could I throw one over my head and be considered safe?

    1. Guess so. You’d just have to fill the hula hoops with salt and let NO AIR HOLES (in the hula hoop) be present.

    1. Relax, you can think about it as much as you please as long as you dont actually preform the ritual, then your screwed. Thats like saying nuclear war will happen just because one thought about it too much. Your good as long as you dont actually preform the summoning

  11. Fun fact: If you sleep during the game you are likely to get “Sleep Paralysis” When you wake up. This means you will not be able to move, even when your body is awake. Your eyes will be closed, but you will feel the presence of several ghosts around you. If you wanna sleep during the game, simply coat yourself, and the room you are in, with salt and pepper.

  12. tried it alone. my friend was too afraid to do it with me. i blew out the candle on my own and just stood there. nothing happened unfortunately. i slept like a baby.

  13. Okay, so my friend wants to play this game and wants me to play with her. This is my first time hearing about this and I thought it was like a hide-and-go-seek. But after reading everything, its kinda confusing because it’s like your hiding..but your not. Like hiding in plain sight. I did have a question though… would it be safe to wear a watch during this? And another question is… if you were in the salt circle or still walking about with your candle and it was 3:33am and befuddled if it was safe to leave the circle or turn on the lights, could you wait until 4am before leaving and turning on the lights and all that stuff??? Sorry if it’s a(n) idiotic question. But I would like a preferred answer 😀

    1. The game ends at 3:33 am. the midnight man has to leave at that time. (though not completely. he can still end up haunting you). you can wear anything that you are comfortable in. once you are in the salt circle, do not leave. the salt circle is a protective charm and when you step out the charm is broken and so you are no longer protected. making another one will not help.

  14. I read somewhere that when won you recive a year of luck, but i cannot find it anymore now.
    any thoughts on that?
    2nd question, if you stay in the salt cirkle you wont win, but he wont eather? is it a draw or something?
    3th when the game is over how to take care not to be botherd anymore?

    1. 1: I think what you are talking about is the Man On The Fields ritual. About the prize: “If you successfully complete the ritual, you will be completely safe for one calendar year; however, what you are safe from will depend on when you began the ritual”. You should check that out. (But there are a lot of rituals with prizes.)
      2: Kinda.
      3: Im not an expert or anything but I think maybe cleansing?

  15. What if I live in an apartment complex? Will the game continue past the part of the building that I live in? I don’t want to endanger the rest of the building.

    1. If you play this game in an apartment complex then… there is a lot of people going to suffer, as the game involve the whole building, not a room

    1. Night Vision Googles (NVG i’ll call them)? Really? We are dealing with something supernatural, not something that you can’t see in the dark. NVG are pointless, even if it is not breaking the rules.

  16. I’ve never heard of the year of luck before. In my opinion, I’d rather keep my year the way it is instead of risking dying for luck, but hey, that’s just me XDD
    To answer your second question, I’d say it would be a draw, but at least you still get to live.
    And to answer your third question, I remember reading on a few rituals similar to this to put a line of salt in each doorway and possibly windows too the day after, to hopefully keep anything from re-entering your home.
    But, seriously, I highly recommend nobody try any of these rituals, for your own safety. And, as the author says, if you must, please use every precaution, and stay as safe as possible.

    1. Never. in fact, NO ONE should play this game. Unless, you’re a fan of letting your life on the line for a thrill.

  17. I don’t normally mess with this sort of stuff but ever since I first found out about it i’ve been really really attached. Like I felt a pulling towards wanting to do this and I don’t know what that means. I’m also a christian so it’s even creepier. Anyone know what this could mean??

  18. Okay, so everyone in the house is participating whether they choose to or not once the ritual starts but it also states that extra players should also do the invitation thing with the blood and the paper. Would there be consequences for extra people who DIDN’T invite the Midnight Man but played anyway as long as one person did it? I mean, if you get invited to someone’s house you don’t usually get invitations from everyone who will be there.

    1. This is a game, not a party. In the past, you must get an invitation from your friend to play with them. Its the same case here.Basically, you’re just tagging along with your friends and you’re a bystander. And a bystander in a life-or-death game always comes bad

  19. Does the wooden door have to be your front door our can it be my bedroom or bathroom door. ( cause my front door isn’t wooden)

  20. What should I do if my candle burns down? Should I wait until it completely burns down, or when I see that it is small, just light another one?

  21. I will play this game, but I don’t want to play it in my own home, or my friend’s home (who is going to play with me). Can we play in a house of another friend who let us play there?
    So is it possible to play the game without the owner of the house being a player, or would he have to play too?

  22. *cough* so i have some simple and very good ways to avoid the him and some helpful ideas that might work.
    1. Use a bag, so you don’t have to cary everything in your hands and make it difficult.
    2. Allways know where everthing is and how it my move and where it could be
    You might here things move, so keep this in mind
    3. Make sure of your salt, you don’t want to mistake it for pepper.
    4. Ceep all knives, wepons and any other source of things that could be harmful out of the house or locked away securely.
    5. Maybe, keep a item like a cross, cross neckless or bible with you, it may help you avoid the the man cuz of the Jesus symbol or mark.
    6. Have yourself start in either your own room or a room not in a corner, it may help you get started better when your in the middle of the house.
    7. In the salt circle, sit down then close your eyes, then have your hands together, pointer fingers up and facing each other and your thumbs crossing each other, this a motion that tels the man your not afraid, also your eyes with be closed for focus and happy thoughts.
    8. Have all machines or noise makers OFF, it well help you notice more things and avoiding him will be easier.
    9. Given a thought, you will need to wear some easier clothing, shorts, or if your a girl you also can wear a skirt or dress, short sleave shirt, no stringd shoes! Wear something else you can easily run or walk in, if you have long hair i suggest you put it up or wear something so your hair doesn’t get in your face.
    10. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT have anything like dolls, puppets or simply nothing that could possibly be possessable, it might break your chance of serviving. (Its a Tip, you don’t have to)
    11. I suggest you play with others, i will ease your fear and if someone screams or dies first, you will immediately know that you will need to keep an eye out, plus i also suggest you play with people who are older then 10, getting children into this is bad.
    12. Last one, before you stop the game… hold the cross in your hand while you blow out the candle, then give a sighn to other players (if) to turn on the light in their room, then slowly pray in a circle of salt to blow away any evil, aspecialy if the mednight man is still there, this will help you alot to end it, burn the paper and spread all the ashes, then say “goodbye, demons of the hell” you don’t have to say that, but i might just help ending it more, then find all your friend! If any of them ar missing, look for them immediately but if you can’t find them or you find them dead/unconscious, proceed with a pray or run out of the house after you know you have everyone thats alive.

    Have all players equip an item from their childhood or church
    *wood cross
    *ashes from a family member who has passed away
    *a picture of you, and friends/family

    If you are alone, please have the following:
    *a small carry bag.
    *a god/jesus sybmol or item
    *bandages (in case of a blood cut)
    *and, if you have doors that lock keep all your keys with you.

    If these helped in any way, its no problem
    And if these did not help, im very sorry.
    Have a good day/afternoon/night.

  23. i personally would never ever EVER play this game, but i find it extremely interesting and have a few questions.
    why can’t you hide from him like in other games such as one man hide and go seek?
    what if you enter a room with only one exit, feel a temperature drop and see him standing in the doorway? you can’t leave or else you’ll run right into him and i’m guessing if he sees you right there he’s already going to be walking towards you. so i guess your only option is to just immediately make a salt circle?
    my final question is a little messed up and scary but, playing two of these type of games at the same time? the midnight game and let’s say one man hide and go seek (because that’s what i used earlier) or if you were playing another game/ritual and the midnight man decided to pay you a little visit?

  24. What would happen if you pissed off the midnight man? Would I live to tell the story, or would my body just tell it for me?

    1. i suggest that you DON’T but if you did it in a salt circle you’d be fine, i think he’d make frequent return visits though. if you weren’t in a salt circle when you taunted him… you should get in one.

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