The Most Dangerous Games: One-Man Hide and Seek

Abandoned doll

Previously: The Midnight Game.

Instructions for how to play a version of hide and seek with with only one player first began appearing on Japanese horror bulletin boards during the summer of 2007. The craze spread quickly in Japan; the instructions were copied, and pasted, and copied again on site after site, and YouTubers began uploading videos documenting their experiences playing it.

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It wasn’t until the fall of 2008 that instructions for One-Man Hide and Seek appeared on an English language site… but perhaps it would have better for everyone if it hadn’t been translated at all.

As always, play at your own risk.


  • 1 principal


  • 1 stuffed doll with limbs
  • 1 sack of uncooked rice
  • 1 pair of nail clippers
  • 1 needle
  • 1 length of red thread
  • 1 sharp edge such as a knife or pair of scissors
  • 1 bathroom with bathtub
  • 1 cup of salt water
  • 1 television
  • 1 hiding place
  • Incense or ofuda


The Prelude:

  1. Using your sharp edge, cut open the doll. Remove the stuffing.
  2. Replace the stuffing with dry, uncooked rice. Clip off a piece of your fingernail and place it inside the doll with the rice.
  3. Using the needle and red thread, stitch the doll closed. Without snipping the thread, take the remaining length, wrap it around the doll, and tie off the ends.
  4. Fill the bathtub with water.
  5. Purify the room in which your hiding place is located with the incense or ofuda. Once it has been purified, set up the television in the same room. Place the cup of salt water and the sharp edge inside the hiding place.
  6. Name the doll.

The Main Event:

  1. Begin at precisely 3am. Repeat the following phrase to the doll three times, filling in your own name where appropriate: “[Your Name] is the first it.”
  2. Go to the bathroom. Submerge the doll in the bathtub and leave it there.
  3. Turn out all the lights in your house.
  4. Go to your hiding place and switch on the television. Close your eyes and count to ten.
  5. When you have finished counting, open your eyes, retrieve your sharp edge, and return to the bathroom.
  6. Remove the doll from the bathtub and say the following phrase to it, filling in the doll’s name where appropriate: “I have found you, [Doll’s Name].” Use your sharp edge to cut the red thread binding the doll.
  7. Say the following phrase to the doll, filling in the doll’s name where appropriate: “You are the next it, [Doll’s Name].” Then return the doll to the bathtub.
  8. Quickly return to your hiding place. Remain as silent as possible.

The Ending:

  1. Take a large mouthful of salt water. Do not swallow it; hold it in your mouth. Keep the cup containing the rest of the salt water in your hand.
  2. Emerge from your hiding place and begin looking for the doll. NOTE: The doll may not necessarily be in the bathroom where you left it.
  3. When you find the doll, pour the remaining salt water in the cup over it. Expectorate the salt water in your mouth over the doll as well.
  4. Repeat the following phrase to the doll three times: “I win.”

The Postscript:

  1. Once the game has been completed, allow the doll to dry, then burn it and discard the remains.

Additional Notes:

The rice represents the doll’s internal organs. Additionally, it serves as bait to attract spirits.

The red thread represents a blood vessel and seals whatever spirits you might have attracted inside the doll. Snipping the thread in the Main Event: step 6 releases the spirits.

When naming your doll, do NOT give it your own name. It is also advisable to avoid giving it the name of anyone you know.

Once the game has begun, do NOT do any of the following things until it has been completed:

  • Turn on the lights.
  • Lock any doors, including the front or back doors
  • Make unnecessary noise.
  • Leave your house.

It is not generally advisable to emerge from your hiding place in the Ending: step 2 without both holding the salt water in your mouth and carrying the cup with the remaining salt water in your hand; should anything have found its way into your home during the course of the game, they will act as safeguards and protect you from any harm your visitor or visitors may attempt to inflict upon you. The purpose of the television is to alert you to the presence of these potential visitors. Should it begin to display abnormal behavior, do NOT, under ANY circumstance, leave your hiding place without the salt water.

Do not allow the game to go on for longer than two hours.

Once it has been started, the game MUST be played through to completion. Do NOT attempt to abandon it partway through. To do so would result in disaster.

One-Man Hide and Seek: FAQ.


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88 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: One-Man Hide and Seek

      1. I wouldn’t do the drauma san one. To me, I think it’d be hard pronouncing the words.

    1. I don’t know, but my friend told me that it worked to him, but im not sure ( név alapján csak úgy…nem magyar vagy? )

    2. Idk if it does but when I did play didn’t work…while playing I was recording the whole thing on my phone….when I went back home and I listened carefully I heard this ‘ngahahahahahha’ laughter. It was SO LOUD. GOD IT SCARED THE SHIT OUTTA ME. so yeah…

  1. also why cant you leave your home while your laying these games? and what would happen if you abandoned the game mid-way?

    1. I wondered that myself… Here are some possibilities for leaving the house: 1. the doll will chase after you. 2. Because you didn’t end the game, you didn’t get rid of the spirit so it’s possible the doll will be waiting for you when you return. 3. It might try to make your home its home and haunt you. If you quit the game midway, 1. The spirit will haunt you. 2. All types of possible harm (death, scares, possession, risk of disappearance, etc.) 3. I don’t know nor do I wanna know.
      I think the only time you’re allowed to go outside is when you’re 350% sure the doll is outside and that’s where you find it. Also, if you play this, don’t look in any mirrors or cross over one, you may not like what you see and mirrors can trap the spirit in your home(so I’ve read). Juste BE CAREFUL!!!!!

    2. You allow the spirit to roam about, putting you and anyone around in danger. You cause the home to become dangerous for your family.

    3. If you did so, the doll may figure out some way to cut itself free and probably haunt your house.. Or it could just go get a cup of coffee.. You don’t want it taking your coffee.

      1. Im to scared XD. And also, my house is kinda small and i got 3 bathrooms so. Im ded if i play this game

    4. If you leave your house, the doll may follow you and the doll may get lost when outside. Which will bring harm to others.

    5. The point of the game is to trap a spirit or demon inside of a doll. These things aren’t usually happy to be trapped, abandoning the game could anger it. By completing the game, you are essentially exorcising the spirit. The game was originally a Japanese exorcism, explaining why the ofuda is an option for cleansing- and a preferable one at that. Abandoning the game halfway leaves the spirit trapped in the doll. Usually, ghosts aren’t able to harm living beings unless possessed. Assuming the game works for you, abandoning it halfway would upset the spirit and expose yourself to unnecessary harm. You shouldn’t leave your home because the spirit would then have a way and an excuse to leave your house. It also leaves you open to other spirits, and your house as well.

    6. Looks like someone didn’t read the whole thing.
      “Do NOT attempt to abandon it partway through. To do so would result in disaster.”

  2. I don’t get it. I mean if i stay quiet in my hiding place, can the doll find me? And what is happening then? If i don’t end game at time what is going to happen?Have anyone really played this game and knows is this true? 🙂

    1. If you stay quiet and have followed the instructions, you should be fine. Prolonging the game risk the chance of the spirit STAYING instead of being able to get rid of it.

  3. I know this game is to be played alone/with one player but is is allowed for another person or others to be in the house as well? As observers? Or is that against the rules?

    1. If there is someone else in the house with you, they run the risk of getting possessed by the spirit and that could be dangerous for both you and the other person.

      1. Okay so if you have some one else with you during the game, how high are the chances of getting possessed? On a scale of 1-10

    2. there is actuly a version for more than on players and it simply contains a few extra steps such as everyone must be it before the doll is it and everyone must have their own cup of salt water and hiding place.

    3. Other people are allowed to play but I don’t think they can just watch because they would have to hide with you and spit the salt water on the doll to

    4. Having more than one human player prolongs the game, which is something you want to avoid. It can also confuse the doll, and cause harm to you or the other player. It is not against the rules, but it is preferable that there only be one player. Unless you plan on playing with multiple dolls. Observers can be hazardous, mostly for them. People can observe, but I’d recommend not doing it in person.

  4. What happened when you played it? Iwant to know because me and another friend want to play it but were afraid of what might happen. Im just really want to know if its safe.

    1. as long as you follow all the rules, end the game at an appropriate time, and make sure the doll DOES NOT FIND YOU, it is theoretically safe. the doll finding you is your biggest worry, cause although it is not clear what happens if they do, it is most likely something awefully grusome

  5. It sounds creepy lol,
    What if you come out of your hiding place at the end and the doll is no longer in the bathroom…
    What if you cant find it?!?!

    1. Have you looked in the attic? If he/she is no where to be found (I know this is old but) you’re probably doomed

  6. I’m going to get my friends to play this game with me. I think it’d be cool. (Besides, I’m a wimp, so I need friendship.)

  7. What will happen if I turn on the lights before ending the game and what will happen if I look for the doll with a cup of salt?

    1. 1) You will anger the spirit residing in the doll
      2) You might be harassed in the attempt to find the doll, but that is it

  8. Hm… You said I(or who’ll play it) must look for the doll, some website well told that the doll also would look for us while we looking for them. If I hide in a room which is a small storage room and only have one way to enter or out, what if when I start to walk form my hiding place and the doll see me? What should I do? Should I run? Or is it possible to the doll just appear and dissapear whenever it likes?

    1. 1)If I hide in a room which is a small storage room and only have one way to enter or out, what if when I start to walk form my hiding place and the doll see me? What should I do? Should I run?
      = End the game, quickly. Never run. You’ll lose that way.

      2)Is it possible to the doll just appear and disappear whenever it likes?
      =Since the spirit inside the doll has taken form of it, it probably can’t. But, due to the physical difference and the fact that there is a ghost in the doll, I don’t see why not. (P.S : A cursed object ALWAYS have a supernatural abilities, unless locked by a mantra or spell or chant and etc.)

      1. A ghost that is possessing something usually has to abide by the laws of physics, though it may be able to disregard them depending on how long they’ve been dead. Other than that, you are correct.

  9. So, after opening a portal and inviting demons into your home, where you sleep, do you all seriously think they will just go away??? They will come and go as they please regardless of your pretty tricks. If you think the will of a demon is weaker than yours, please continue inviting evil things into your home.So, after opening a portal and inviting demons into your home, where you sleep, do you all seriously think they will just go away??? They will come and go as they please regardless of your pretty tricks. If you think the will of a demon is weaker than yours, please continue inviting evil things into your home.

  10. So scared rn. I really don’t like not getting enough sleep at night and the I believe the dead should truly rest in peace so I won’t try this game. Anyone else agree?

    1. Actually, it stems from a Japanese exorcism. What you’re doing when playing this game is exorcising the spirit, ergo making sure that it is able to “go on peacefully into that happy night”, as our poets are happy to say.

  11. I’ve done this game and my friend has done this game and has video proof that this game is the really deal not something you make up but she did it with a fnf doll which made the game 10x more scarier than if you did it with a stuffed monkey or something *burn the remains it will come back to life if you do not at least that’s what I have heard*

    1. you shouldn’t be inviting evil spirits into your home it’s not the best idea and I honestly don’t think they’ll just leave that easily…

    1. Yes. On some version of the stories I read, the white noise will the indicator of the doll’s where about. Plus (and this is what I read) the spirit used the TV as a voice, changing channels.

  12. If I’m in my hiding spot and the doll comes to it and finds me, can I just kick it across the room so it won’t stab me? Kinda like stunning it? And if I name it something silly could the spirit get mad?..

    1. I really hope so 😂 I’m meant to be playing this tonight with my sister and to be honest I am TERRIFIED!! I’m pretty sure kicking it isn’t a good idea, but hey- whatever works for you.

    2. 1) Are you serious? A possessed doll? Kicking it WILL make it angrier and make the chance of you getting stab HIGH. Don’t do it. Plus, it’s a ghost. Kicking it (even in a weak state eg. doll) doesn’t stun it.

      2) Naming the spirit something silly probably won’t anger the spirit, but be honest, are we going to name a spirit “Buttface”?

  13. I know this sounds idotic
    But I educated and, damn, possessed people is fking true
    Well, my school had those, freaking possession for some weeks
    because before being a school, its a graveyard (wtf -_-)
    So, I’ll recommend you guys do not play this
    You maybe don’t believe me, but at least I’ll say I’m not lying
    PS: Never play this but I just telling my knowledges of possession

    1. what happened after u made the doll and played the game? me and my friend want to play it tonight is why i am asking

      1. I played with my friend and all that happened afterwards was a very interesting spirit in counter where we both actually saw it so it’s safe to play with her friend mostly because you’re safer in numbers

  14. Hm, I’m quite tempted to enact this game, but I won’t do it in my own home.

    Does anyone have visual evidence of this game being legitimate? I’ve done some research, but I generally see too in-depth descriptions/stories and generally false youtube videos. I want something that is, maybe, 99% true. Oh! Reminds me I need to research Ouija Boards.

  15. Oi can u do the tag one… the tag one like the apex but… uh… thats all i know XD I forgot the name of it.

  16. This is actually one of the safest rituals out there. Very low, if any, risk of death in this game, as opposed to the Midnight Man and others. There is, however, another version of this game which may very likely result in death if one loses. It’s called “The Living Doll”. The games are more or less the same, except The Living Doll requires a mirror, candles, a life-sized doll and a deadly weapon. I do not recommend anyone try this. I’m way too chicken to even think of doing it, and hope you all are too.

    1. the midnight man is one of the most dangerous paranormal spirit activity ive ever done. P.S. i hope u know the aftermath if u fail to complete this activity it starts at midnight ends at 3:30 u need a lighter candle and lots of salt. before midnight light the candle wait a bit blow it out open the door knock on it 22 times close the door relight the candle wait till midnight open the door say ur invitation to the midnight man then close the door and walk around ur house BUT KEEP AN EYE ON THE CANDLE because when the candle goes out u ONLY HAVE 10 SECONDS TO RELIGHT IT if u dont relight it IN 10 SECONDS SIROUND URSELF in a CIRCLE OF SALT and wait till 3:30 then go to the door and let the midnight man out. if u fail to relight the candle in 10 secs or siruond urself in a CIRCLE of salt in seconds the midnight man will hunt u with ur worst fears for the rest of ur life and this is a fact because my friend jack did this old japanese punishment and failed and is going crazy from the hunting to the point were hes been thrown into a mental institute for the pyscoes. a I done the challenge yeseterday and almost failed so i wouldn’t recomend doing this if u want to stay sane.

  17. What if you actually left the house and locked it behind you and moved to another country on the other side of the world?

    Would that be effective to stay alive?

  18. If I play this game having previously played Daruna San, and use a Daruma doll as my hill, would that anger either the entities in this game or the entity described in Daruma San?

  19. I heard something come into my room while reading this. Scared the crap out o me. Oh thank god, its just my dog 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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