The Most Dangerous Games: One-Man Hide and Seek

Abandoned dollPreviously: 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. 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.

[Photo via]

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

    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.

    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.

  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.

  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?!?!

  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?

  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?

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